KARACHI: The Customs Appellate Tribunal has ordered the Customs authorities to draw samples from the consignment of skimmed milk from PCSIR and HEJ Laboratory to ascertain whether the consignment was fit for human consumption.

According to details of the case, a consignment of skimmed milk imported by M/s Hamid Holdings was seized by Customs Appraisement West on the basis of expiry date embossed on the packets, which suggested that the goods were not fit for human consumption.

The importer moved an application on the ground that the printing of expiry date was at fault, caused by the manufacturer. In lieu of that the manufacturer submitted the certificate, wherein they stated that the milk powder normally has shelf life of 24 months from the manufacture date, if stored in its original packing and in good condition.

The importer requested for the laboratory test of the said consignments from any government laboratory to determine, whether the detained goods are fit for human consumption or otherwise.

The department’s representative strongly opposed the application on the ground that the subject consignment was seized on the basis of the substantive evidence, expiry date was printed by the manufacturer on each and every bag of subject consignment.

He further contended that the question of expiry date has been settled and there is no reason to believe that the goods are still fit for human consumption and any permission for laboratory test is granted would effect the whole seizure.

The Tribunal comprising Member Technical Khalid Mehmood and Member Judicial Muhammad Nadeem Qureshi observed that for purpose to resolve the core issue, the seized goods are required to be analyzed from the government laboratory and directed the respondent to draw the samples from the said consignment and send the same to the PCSIR and HEJ Laboratory, for analysis.

The importer has been advised to submit evidence along with explanation about the shelf life of skimmed milk.