KARACHI: A team of very senior customs officers have interviewed six bonded carriers, as these have applied for the grant of bonded carrier license. The decision has been reserved and would be announces soon.

These officers included Collector Appraisement West Mohammad Saleem, Collector Preventive Tariq Huda, Collector Port Qasim Suarraya Ahmed Butt and Director I&I Customs, Asif Marghoob Siddiqui.

Presently, 56 bonded carriers are already registered with Pakistan Customs. Customs authorities had placed an advertisement in the local media regarding grant of bonded carrier licenses.

Sources said that the practice was being carried out to facilitate trade particularly Afghan Transit Trade (ATT).

The authorities also aim to add more options for the importers so that monopoly of an quarter could not be established as monopolies end competition.

It may be mentioned here that Pakistan Railways is all set to operate cargo trains for transit trade and a large chunk of transit trade and transshipments would shift to Pakistan Railways.

According to Customs Rules, 2001 Transshipment (TP) shall only be allowed if the bonded carrier possesses a fleet of minimum twenty five registered vehicles in his name or company or are leased by them. The bonded Carrier will be allowed to use only such vehicles/trailer units which

have a permanently installed/fixed tracking device of a reputable company.

The Customs staff shall verify the satisfactory working of the tracker and the identity of the vehicle used by the bonded carrier for transshipment of consignments, as well as the road worthiness of the vehicle/trailer/prime mover and registration number and other particulars of the vehicles.

Bonded carrier licence is issued by the Collector of Customs (Appraisement), Karachi, for a period of one year on the recommendation of constituted team of Collectors comprising Collector of Customs Appraisement, Preventive and Port Qasim.

The permission granted for bonded transportation is non-transferable and shall not be allowed to be used by any sub-contractor.

The applicants shall deposit a bank guarantee or Defence Saving Certificates etc., or a mix of such securities for Rs5.0 million with the concerned Collector of Customs to safeguard government revenue.

The Collector of Customs, if not satisfied with this condition, alone may subscribe the system of revolving insurance guarantee keeping in view the huge amount of duty and taxes involved in transportation of bonded cargo to up-country dry ports.

The registered vehicles of one bonded carrier shall not be allowed to be operated by any other bonded carrier for the transshipment of cargo to upcountry Dry Ports. All the Bonded Carrier Permit holders be required to obtain and posses Customs clearing and forwarding license.

A   transport   operator   is   eligible   to   file application with the licensing authority for the grant of license to operate as transport operator if, it is a company or firm; have adequate knowledge of computer to handle the GD in PRAL or PACCS and of legal matters; possesses experience regarding choice of vehicle, certification and registration, maintenance, loading and unloading, carriage of dangerous and perishable goods, principles of environment protection in road traffic, road safety, road accident prevention and mitigation; possesses   sufficient   knowledge   of   Customs   law   and   procedure   and   transport operations management; possesses a fleet of minimum twenty five registered vehicles in his name or company or are leased by them; is registered under the Companies Ordinance, 1984 and with concerned Chamber of Commerce and Industry and possesses National Tax Number under the provisions of the Income Tax Ordinance 2001.

On qualifying the criteria, license shall be issued to the transport operator by the Collector of Customs Appraisement, Karachi for a period of two years.

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