Hearing of wheat warehousing surcharge case on Oct 21

KARACHI: The hearing of a Special Customs appeal against order of Customs Appellate Tribunal Karachi in a case of warehousing surcharge is fixed for October 21, 2015 by a division bench of High Court of Sindh.

The reference was filed by Mehboob Brothers (Pvt) limited claiming refund of illegally collected ware housing surcharge by the Custom authorities.

The appellant maintained that levy of surcharge was in violation of Articles of the Constitution of Pakistan.

According to the plea by appellant, they imported wheat from Romania for subsequent export to Afghanistan. The appellant/ importer filed a Goods Declaration (GD) for ‘Safe Transportation’. However the capacity of custom bonded ware house at Quetta was only 3500 MT and thus the Collectorate allowed release of 3483 MT of wheat while remaining 16822 MT was declined and said more wheat would be released upon production of cross border evidence and proof of payment of dues of Advance Income Tax.

Finding it difficult and time consuming, the appellant requested the Customs to change the status of the GD from Safe Transport to Home Consumption, which was acceded to and the remaining consignment lying in customs ware house were released on payment of Advance Income Tax at the rate of  2.0 percent.

The appellant/ Importer later filed a refund claim of Rs3,807.793 which was rejected by the Additional Collector Customs.

The appellant filed a customs appeal under section 194-A of the Customs Act  1969 before the Collector Customs who allowed the same on ground that  warehousing  surcharge can be levied because the facility of the deferred payment of duty tax in advance was availed by the appellant/ importer.

The customs further contends that  Customs Act do not provide for refund of the leviable charges  other than those paid through  inadvertence, error  or misconstructions.

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