US Consulate wants clearance of reverse cargo from Afghanistan under Section 79 of the Customs Act
KARACHI: The US Consulate in Karachi has approached Customs authorities with a proposal that their reverse cargo could be examined first at Quetta-Chamman border and afterwards they would file the Goods Declaration (GD). The US Consulate has sought the clearance of their reverse cargo under Section 79 of the Customs Act. The Customs is facing severe problems as the reverse cargo consignments down not follow the world standards of unit of measurement. These cargos are sometimes declared in Kgs, sometimes in tons and sometimes in pieces. It was learnt that there would be some modifications in the WeBOC system to address these issues. Directorate of Transit Trade (ATT) has blocked the clearance of 40 containers containing steel matting of US military reverse cargo as there were discrepancies in weight measured at Quetta-Chaman and Karachi. After these containers were blocked the same were subjected to physical examination. The containers were found to be stuffed with steel matting as declared, however, there were significant difference in weight found at the port of entry and the port of exit. In all the containers, the weight found at Karachi was significantly lesser than that found at Quetta-Chamman, which suggests pilferage of something enroute. There are chances that the goods pilfered were undeclared. Sources said that Director Transit Trade Wajid Ali, Deputy Director Shoib Raza and other investigating officers had broken the network that was undertaking pilferage of US Army cargo in Pakistan. Director General I&I Lutfullah Virk extended all support in this regard. Now, the goods lifted from US bases in Afghanistan are measured at a computerized scale and then these are pilfered in Afghanistan at Usmani warehouse near Karzai Check post. These goods which are pilfered in Afghanistan then find their way in Pakistan. Customs authorities has not yet entertained the request of US Consulate regarding clearance under Section 79 of Customs Act. Customs nominated their focal person in the contravention reports as accused. After which the US Consulate has approached Ministry of Defense as well as Customs to alter the system of clearance of US Army reverse cargo. Adjudication Collectorate had sent a hearing notice of US Consulate’s focal person, however he did not appear before the Adjudication. The Customs Court has ordered restoration of the status of Appraising Officer of investigation officer (IO) for looking after the investigations into the pilferage of US Army reverse cargo including hazmat waste. Customs Court expressed dismay over the transfer of Adnan Malik from Transit Trade to Appraisement East and ordered immediate restoration of his IO status. He is now the IO of the cae but he would remain posted at Appraisement East.