Pak Foot Wear Traders protest against 300 per cent raise in customs

Pakistan Foot Wear Traders protest against 300 per cent raise in customs duty

KARACHI: Pakistan Foot Wear Traders Association on Wednesday rejected the 100 per cent to 350 per cent raise in customs duty on different kinds of foot wear.

Addressing a press conference here at Karachi Press Club they said that till May 25, Customs Valuation was assessing the imported foot wear under Valuation Ruling 421/2012 and suddenly a new valuation ruling was issued on May 25 VR 358 0f 2016 where in custom duty was raised from 100 per cent to 350 per cent.

We have booked containers one month back and which landed at the port now. About 300 containers have been stuck up and another 300 are likely to arrive in a day or two. We cannot pay the custom duty and would be forced to close down our businesses, they said.

They alleged that valuation ruling was changed on a representation made by foot wear giants Bata and Servis. The increase in custom duty would increase the price of a chappal now available at rupees40 to rupees 120, they said appealing to the custom officials to suspend the new ruling and allow release of 300 containers already arrived at Karachi port under old ruling. Our business and season of Eid would be ruined if their demand was not met.

They also threatened to close down their shops at Boulton and Light House for an indefinite period.

Meanwhile Customs Valuation department maintained that new ruling was passed according to section 25 of the customs Act 1969 wherein all stakeholder were taken on board and the valuation was still on lower side.

These individuals are not importers but “carriers” who now face loss due to their own business tactics.

They have preferred an appeal which is pending decision before the Director General Valuation and press conference held today before decision by the DG Valuation was an attempt to pressurize the custom officers, the Valuation department maintained.

These carriers have concluded agreement with importer on a lump sump price which include transportation, payment of duties and taxes and have taken advances against such deals made in Dubai or China. They are bound to sustain lossess due to new valuation ruling and for this reason they are making hue and cry, sources in the industry said adding that customs cannot be forced to change VR to benefit a few or a group of individual involved in “grey tade”.

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