KARACHI: A delegation of Customs officials accused of clearance of pharmaceutical raw-materials without NOC from DRAP (Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan) met with Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Tuesday.

The delegation requested the Chairman FBR and Member Customs Nisar Mohammad Khan that the issue may be taken with DG FIA for withdrawal of criminal proceedings against customs officials for being unlawful, baseless, contrary to facts and natural justice as it is a matter of interpretation, which by no means attract criminal proceedings.

The delegation comprised of Assistant collector Abdul Majeed, Principal Appraiser Mir Mansur, Qamaruddin Samejo and Naseeruddin Humayun, Appraising Officer Raja Waseem.

The delegation asserted that import and clearance of pharmaceutical raw-materials is allowed to pharmaceutical industries holding valid pharmaceutical manufacturing license in accordance with the provisions of Drugs (Imports & Exports) Rules, 1976 and there is no condition of any NOC from the DRAP.

FBR in a clarification dated 16.07.2006 directed concerned appraising staff to allow release of Imported raw material for the basic manufacture of pharmaceutical active ingredients and for manufacture of pharmaceutical products, without payment of sales tax and without requiring any certificate from the Ministry of Health.

Moreover, Import Policy provides that any dispute or clarification regarding import status of any item which cannot be resolved by the customs authorities shall be referred to Ministry of Commerce for final decision.

The Ministry of Commerce vide an Office Memorandum clearly referred to Serial No.07, Part-ll of Appendix-B of Import Policy Order, 2013, which states that no NOC from DRAP is mandatory for import clearance of raw material so the field formations may not demand the same from the importer and there was no ambiguity in the matter at all.

The delegation was ensured that the issue would be resolved amicably.

Chairman had a busy schedule and held meetings with DG ATT Khawar Manika, Director Wajid Ali, Chief Collector South Nazim Saleem, Chief Collector Nasir Masroor and Director Automation WeBOC Majid Yousafani,