Importers encouraged to voluntarily pay short-paid duty/tax

KARACHI: The importers and clearing agents who mistakenly or intentionally misdeclared the status of LC in their Goods Declarations (GDs) are advised to voluntarily come up and rectify their record.

Importers imported their consignment through Letter of Credit (LC) and misdeclared in the goods declaration (GDs) that the consignment was without LC. The practice was undertaken in most cases to misdeclare the value of goods i.e. under-invoicing.

Sources said a formal word would be circulated soon advising importers to come up voluntarily to rectify record and pay any duty short-paid or evaded. Sources added that if any such case was detected after scrutiny, strict punitive proceedings would be undertaken.

This is the follow up of a case where a Lahore based importer was found to have short-paid amount of duty and taxes as the company on several of its GDs, mentioned ‘without LC’ despite the fact the consignment was ‘with LC’.

However, M/s S.Fazal Ilahi & Sons-Lahore has paid all the amount of short-paid duty and taxes.

The matter started when the company was telephonically informed by Collectorate of Customs (West), Karachi about short payment of duties and taxes in respect of a GD.

As soon as the telephonic information was received, the company immediately paid an amount of Rs2.022 million by way of Pay Order.

A meeting was also held with Additional Collector of Customs Appraisement (West), Custom House, Karachi wherein the company’s representative submitted that they will conduct self audit of the mistakes made by the company. It was further pointed out that the subject mistake has been made by the last Import Manager of the company who declared the values as per import data/determination of value by Customs instead of L/C values.

For this purpose, he managed the L/C & mis-declaration relating therewith. However, it is pointed out that no malafide or intent was involved in the said declaration of value on the part of the owners of the company.

The company voluntarily conducted self-audit of the company; as a result of which, the short paid duties and taxes were worked out. This amount related to MCC West, MCC East as well as MCC, Port Qasim was paid through Pay Orders.

The company had voluntarily come-forward for payment of short paid duties & taxes and the same were paid after conducting self-audit.

M/s S.Fazal Ilahi & Sons Lahore has requested the Customs authorities that no criminal proceedings may be initiated against them as the case was of bondafide error and mistake.

Sources said as the company had come up voluntarily and in order to encourage other importers to come up voluntarily, the authorities might not initiate any criminal proceedings against M/s S/Fazal Ilahi & Sons-Lahore.

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