Old, used trucks import; Supreme Court order adjudication as per law, strikes high court’s ruling
KARACHI: The Supreme Court of Pakistan (SCP) has struck down the ruling of Sindh High court regarding release of imported used and old trucks. It may be recalled that MCC Appraisement West and MCC port Qasim had seized a number of old and used trucks which were imported in the name of transit mixers and sprinkle lorries. The importers approached Sindh High Court and the Court ordered release of the vehicles. Subsequently, Customs Appraisement approached Supreme Court of Pakistan against the order of Sindh high court. Supreme Court has set aside the judgment of high court and directed Customs to adjudicate the case as per Customs laws and rules. It may be mentioned here that 60 other such vehicles had also been imported and the importers did not approach Court but they approached ministry of Commerce and Ministry imposed 15 percent surcharge and the same were cleared. Pakistan Customs on the directives of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has initiated a large-scale crackdown against vehicles importers, who managed to clear over-aged vehicles through fraudulent means. FBR had also asked Pakistan Customs to provide data pertaining to the import of prime movers, sprinkle lorries and concrete mixtures since 2013. Sources told Customnews.pk that this data would be reconciled with Excise Department to ascertain whether these vehicles are registered as they were imported or otherwise. Meanwhile, all the Collectorates have initiated verification of PSI certificates submitted by the importers from their respective issuers. The FBR directives came after Collector Port Qasim Surayya Butt issued an alert letter to FBR pertaining to import of vehicles, which were banned as per Import Policy order through fraudulent mean. The Board has also advised Customs to remain extra vigilant in the clearance of old and used vehicles. Recently, Customs lodged 19 FIRs against M/s Quick Contractors & Traders for furnishing fake and forged documents to give color of lawful imports to vehicles otherwise not importable. The local assemblers have time and again apprised Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) that old/used trucks, which are banned, were being imported in the name of refrigerated trucks. Later, these vehicles were being imported in garb of sprinkle lorries. Afterwards, these same vehicles were fitted with drums and imported as concrete mixtures. And now these vehicles are being imported as prime mover trucks on fake PSI certificates. Customs is in litigation at different judicial platforms against several importers who imported trucks as concrete mixture.