KARACHI: The WeBOC Project has successfully prepared and uploaded structured description of each HS code in WeBOC System in order to facilitate the trade, streamline the working and to expedite goods clearance.

Chairman FBR had tasked Collector Appraisement East, Manzoor Memon to prepare structured description of HS Codes. Memon assigned the job to Deputy Collector Ibrahim Khan. The Description has been completed in a record time under the leadership of Manzor Memon.

It is to the untiring efforts of the Appraisement East officers that the description has been completed. While WeBOC project has also uploaded and implemented the system in a record time. WeBOC Project director Majid Yousafani and Deputy Director Qasim Khokhar implemented it in a record time. WeBOC has already imparted training to the clearing agents in this regard.

The authorities had observed that in some cases importers/clearing agents do not mention complete description/specifications of the goods while filing the Goods Declarations (GDs). Incomplete or ambiguous descriptions are liable to abuse and also result in disputes of classification/valuation/exemptions. Moreover, due to vague descriptions, Customs officers are constrained either to call additional documents or to require physical examination of the goods. This results delay in clearance of goods and consumes time and resources of all stakeholders. Resultantly, dwell time increases and cost of business goes up.

All HS codes are bound with leading questions to narrow down the specifications of the goods as given in Customs Tariff and Explanatory Notes. At the time of filing of goods declaration, importer/clearing agent has to respond to various relevant questions embedded in WeBOC system. The questions are HS code (PCT) specific, and unless answered, the system will not allow the completion of GD filing process. HS Code wise questions on all PCTs are available on website. The Description Structure has covered 10,000 PCTs and there are around 10 questions with each PCT, sources told Customnews.pk.

Initially, some training sessions for the declarants and officers have been held in Directorate of Training (Customs) Karachi. Moreover to create awareness among the stakeholders, the Directorate of Training & Research (Customs), Lahore will also schedule training sessions for Importers/Clearing Agents.

It may be recalled that FBR had initiated development of ‘Declaration Structure’, which would eliminate mis-declaration and under-invoicing as well as the doors of corruption would be closed.

According to details available with Customnews.pk, Chairman FBR Tariq Bajwa has assigned this task to Collector Appraisement East Manzoor Memon with the directives to be completed before the fiscal year end.

It may be mentioned here that there are 99 chapters of Pakistan Customs Tariff (PCT) containing long lists of PCT headings.

This development hints that assessment/appraisement is planned to be completely automated so that corruption could be eliminated.

Retired Deputy Collector Javed Butt carried on an exercise in this regard in 2004, now the similar module is being upgraded.

It is likely that the role of appraising staff will be ended, it may be mentioned here that the role of Principal Appraiser at examination stage has already been ended while Principal Appraisers can only undertake second review of the assessment.

It may be mentioned here that despite severe requirement, new inductions are not being made in appraisement, which hints that their role would be completely ended going forward.

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