KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has urged the FIA authorities that the concerned FIA staff may be directed not to harass the Customs staff so that the revenue collection does not suffer.

FBR in a letter to FIA clarified the import of pharmaceutical raw material and underlined that the Customs staff fulfilled all the requirements before clearing the pharmaceutical raw material.

The letter pointed out that FIA Lahore made out a case against M/s lntervac (Pvt) Ltd in 2014 pertaining to import of pharmaceutical raw materials. While investigating the said case, investigating staff of FIA has taken a position that each imported consignment of pharmaceutical raw material requires prior permission from the office of Federal Drug Department in and merely license was not suffice and none of these consignments should have been released by Customs unless prior permission is issued for each consignment by the officer of Drug Department.

FBR noted that Trade Policy Provisions are fairly clear and the prescribed requirements are being adhered to at import stage. In case any permission/certificate is required for each import consignment then the same may be included along with already prescribed requirements under the said provisions of Trade policy.

FBR mentioned that the importers agitate wherever they are asked to produce prior certification from the Drugs Authorities on the plea that such certification is time consuming and result into accumulation of demurrage charges at port which increase their cost of production of drugs and medicines.

Despite the fact that matter is under clarification with Ministry of Commerce, FIA Lahore issued summons to 76 officials in the last year. Now, on the request of FIA non-bail able warrants have been issued of Customs officials.

FBR also referred to Section 217 of the Customs Act 1969 which provides that no prosecution or legal proceedings shall be undertaken by any Government agency against officer/officials for anything done in official capacity without the prior approval of Federal Board of Revenue. But no such permission has been obtained from FBR in the aforesaid cases.

FBR requested FIA authorities to look into the matter and the concerned FIA staff may be directed not to harass the Customs Staff.


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