KARACHI: The processing of import consignments containing toiletries of low-end brands has stopped as the contradictory corrigendum issued to the Valuation Ruling No.596/2013 has created confusion among the importers as well as the Customs assessment staff.

It may be mentioned that the importers of cosmetics and toiletries of low-end brands have stopped the clearance of their consignments.

According to details, Valuation Ruling 596/2013 determined the values of toiletries of low-end and unknown brands. This valuation ruling defined several brands, but left a lacuna as it mentioned the valuation ruling was applicable to the named brands as well as similar unknown brands.

However, the Directorate General of Intelligence & Investigation reported attempts to misuse the said Ruling by unscrupulous importers.

Then Director Surayya Ahmed Butt issued a corrigendum to the Ruling in 2013 and deleted ‘Palmolive’ and ‘Yardley’ from the list of brands notified by the Ruling as these were not low-end brands. Moreover, the word ‘unknown brands’ was replaced by ‘low end’ brands.

Hence the Ruling No.596/2013 was applicable to the brands mentioned in the ruling as well as similar low-end brands. This addressed the concerns of all stakeholders as it was an appropriate amendment to the said Ruling.

However, Director Customs Valuation was reportedly misguided by his colleagues and associates as he was unaware of the corrigendum issued by Surayya Ahmed Butt and issued another corrigendum in September 2015.

It read that the words ‘similar unknown brands’ was creating confusion as values of unknown brands have already been determined separately and notified vide Valuation Ruling 590/2013.

In order to avoid his perceived confusion and streamline the assessment words ‘similar unknown brands’ was omitted from the valuation Ruling.

Ruling 590/2013 determined the values of medium-end brands and the corrigendum issued by Manzoor Memon has resulted in assessment of low-end brands which are not mentioned the respective Ruling as per the values of medium-end brands.

It is pertinent to mention here that Manoor Memon has mentioned no account of the Corrigendum issued by Suarrayya Ahmed Butt and amendment notified by him refers to the original Valuation Ruling No.596/2013.

The point of law here is that the words ‘similar unknown brands’ does not any more exist in the Ruling No.596/2013 as these words have been changed into ‘low-end’ brands. Therefore, the words which do not exist cannot be omitted or replaced.

Sources said process of issuing corrigendum to Valuation Ruling was inappropriate as it remains off record and cannot be uploaded and incorporated in the WeBOC system as corrigendum to valuation ruling does not contain values.

This is an anomaly and it is appropriate to issue a new valuation ruling afresh instead of issuing the corrigendum.