KARACHI: China Customs and Ministry of Commerce have agreed on Electronic Data Inter-change (EDI) with Pakistan Customs, which would help eliminate under-invoicing pertaining to imports from China as well as misuse of the free trade agreement (FTA).

The work on this module has been initiated and it will be implemented by July 2016, officials told Customnews.pk.

According to details, a meeting between the Customs authorities of both Pakistan and China was held last week in China, which deliberated upon the modalities of the data interchange.

Director Automation and Reforms Majid Yousufani led the Pakistan Customs’ delegation comprising Chief Automation Abdul Qadir, Riaz Chaudry and Azeem Afzal of PRAL.

EDI would enable real time access to Certificate of Origins, Customs values and FTA pertaining to exports from China to Pakistan, which would eliminate under-invoicing, mis-declartion and misuse of FTAs.

Yousfani has been transferred to Appraisement East so this is not confirm yet if Yousafani would continue to supervise this project or new DG Reforms and Automation Dr. Farid Iqbal Qureshi would look after the project.

It may be mentioned here that China does not keep check on their exports and the entire world including Europe is facing the menace of under-invoicing. Pakistan is the first country that has reached an understanding with Chinese authorities to implement such a mechanism.

It may be recalled that Federal Board of Revenue earlier this year had issued an alert regarding mis-declaration in imports from China under 50 HS codes. The Board was also concerned about the un-warranted concessions granted under various SROs covering preferential or free trade agreements.

The objective of EDI is to implement standardized simple set of trade-related data that can make it easier for legitimate traders to meet legal, regulatory and administrative requirements by reducing the amount of time, effort and money needed to gather, collate and submit data.