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KARACHI: Pakistan Customs has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with International Air Transport Association (IATA) for the development of Cargo XML and Advance Passenger Information Systems.

The ceremony was held at a local hotel. Nasir Masroor Ahmed, Director General, Directorate General of Reforms and Automation (Customs) FBR, was the chief guest. Tariq Huda, Collector of Customs Preventive welcomed the audience to the event. He emphasized the commitment of Pakistan Customs to work for the betterment of the country and the community.

Huda added that development of Cargo XML facility will reduce the dwell time of the cargo imported through air. This in turn will reduce the cost of doing business. The Advance Passenger Information system will provide the information of incoming passengers before their arrival. This would forestall risks and enable Pakistan Customs to provide better passenger facilitation to incoming passengers.

Abdul Majid Yousfani, Director, Directorate General of Reforms and Automation, Pakistan Customs, elaborated the technical aspects of both Cargo XML and Advance Passenger Information Systems. He mentioned the Pilot testing of this program will commence once the development of the Software is completed. The complete Roll out of the EDI Standards is likely to be completed by end of 2015.

Nasir Masroor, the Director General, Directorate General of Reforms and Automation (customs) FBR welcomed the MOU and spoke of future collaborations between Pakistan Customs and IATA. He mentioned that the development of this system is the outcome of Pakistan Customs resolve to Trade facilitation and modernization.

He further informed that Pakistan Customs is also working closely with China Customs and Afghan Customs for the development of Electronic Data Interface. This will help generate more revenue and will also curb smuggling and under invoicing.

Nathalie Herbelles, signed the MOU on behalf of the IATA. She highlighted the details of the Cargo XML and API systems. She congratulated Pakistan Customs for implementing IATA Cargo XML and API standards.

The event was well attended by Commander Karachi Vice Admiral Arifullah Hussaini, Commissioner Karachi Shoaib Siddiqi, CEO TDAP S.M Muneer, CEO New World Concepts Yasmin Hyder, leading diplomats, business personalities, Customs Additional Collector Saadia Sheeraz, Deputy Directors Abid Hussain Hakro, Naveed Memon, Qasim Khokar, Nazia Saleem and senior management of Pakistan.

Director Dr. Farid Iqbal Qureshi, Director PCA Gul Rehman, Director Intelligence & Investigation Yaqoob mako, Collector Exports Saifuddin Junejo, Collector Appeal Dr. Zulfiqar Malik, Additional Collector AFU Tahir Qureshi, Additional Collectors Feroz Alam Junejo were also present among others.