KARACHI: The Directorate of Transit Trade has implemented the amendments in Customs Rules, wherein the provision of verifying shipper seal on Afghan Transit containers has been omitted.

The Customs officials posted in examination were abusing this provision and were blackmailing the Customs agents and minting money. The omission of this unnecessary provision would also end corruption on the part of Customs officials.

Director Transit Trade Wajid Ali had proposed to eliminate the requirement of checking/verifying the shipper seal by the Customs authorities.

Wajid Ali had suggested that this requirement was resulting in port congestion as well as delay in processing of consignments.

In order to facilitate the trade, the requirement regarding checking of shipper seal by Customs officials was eliminated through the Finance Act, and the Directorate of Transit Trade has implemented this.

Shipper seal is the seal affixed on container by the shipper from the port of loading.

Rule 473 of Customs Rules required that after filing of GD, all consignments of transit goods shall be inspected to verify the shipper seal and container No. declared in GD. Now this provision has been omitted.

The seal imposed on containers by the Customs Preventive is more important, as the exit collectorate clears the consignments after checking the Preventive Seal. This requirement would remain in place.

Zahid Qazi, President of Pak-Afghan Transit Clearing Agents Group, appreciated the implementation of new mechanism saying that this was an unnecessary requirement and checking of shipper seals on large sized containers took much time as well as it was a hassle for the agents and importers alike.

This process also resulted in demurrage and detention cahrges as well as it caused congestion on the ports.

Qazi said that they had approached Director Transit Trade Wajid Ali and apprised him of the problems being caused due to this unnecessary requirement.

“On our recommendations, Wajid Ali had forwarded the proposals which were accepted. This would facilitate trade to a great extent,” Qazi said.