KARACHI: Directorate of Reforms and Automation has prepared the module to facilitate implementation of provision in SRO 637(I)/2015 that 80 percent of transit cargo would be cleared through the green channel.

The module is being partially implemented and Risk Management System (RMS) is being developed to cover all loopholes or potential leakage.

Through amendments in Custom Rules 2001 vide SRO 637(I)/2015, the FBR has made it mandatory that after filing of GD, 20 percent consignments of transit goods shall be weighed and scanned subject to the availability of scanner and weighbridge at the relevant office of departure.

Where scanning is not possible, such as in case of oversized, bulk and break-bulk cargo, such goods may be examined, if required. In case any discrepancy is noticed during scanning, the same shall be marked for examination subject to approval from respective Assistant Director or Deputy Director.

Director General Transit Trade Javed Ghani and Director Wajid Ali has formed a team headed by Additional Director Mona Mehfooz to keep monitoring of transit cargo and any suspicious consignments could be forwarded for examination.

Deputy Directors Shoib Raza, Chaudry Fazaldad and Chaudry Mumtaz are also part of the said team.

It suggests that only 20 percent goods will be scanned and examined while the rest of 80 percent would be cleared through the green channel. An official said there were several issues which need to be sorted out first otherwise this new procedure would be misused massively.

For example, the appraising officers consider the weight of consignment as provided by the terminal operator. But, terminal operators are known to manipulate weight of consignments. It is known that goods which are assessed on weight basis such as cloth, the terminal operators under-quote the weight while goods which are assessed on piece basis, terminal operators over-quote the weight of such goods to balance the overall weight of the consignment.

It is said that staff of terminal operators have fixed a rate for manipulating the weight of consignments. For cloth, the rate is Rs15,000 for reducing the weight by one ton.

These consignments loaded on bonded carriers are pilfered during the transit. It was known that the quantity of goods, for which the weight was under-quoted is removed from the consignments and these goods find their way into the local market.

An official said that only those importers included in the RMS are eligible for Green Channel. It takes about three months from the day of registration for an importer to be included in the eligibility list of RMS as there are a number of checks, scrutiny and analysis of imports are involved.

However, importers just in a week after their registration become the part of Green Channel eligibility list and their profiles are included in RMS, sources say this could be done against a ‘donation’ of Rs1.5 million.

If the background and details of importers’ profiles in the RMS are analyzed, it can be found that which importers had their profiles included in RMS in days after the registration.

It may be mentioned here that Afghan Customs is completely non-cooperative and there is no data sharing or verification in place to confirm that transit goods were delivered to the destination or these were pilfered.

Sources said that Afghan authorities instead of taking anti-smuggling measures pressurize Pakistani side to be lenient with transit cargo as several influential persons having both Afghan and Pakistani nationality are involved in this smuggling.