Curbing under-invoicing; Customs issues several valuation guidelines

Curbing under-invoicing; Customs issues several valuation guidelines

KARACHI: Directorate General of Customs Valuation has circulated certain valuation guidelines for the notice of all formations about the prevailing international price trend of several importable goods in the first phase, while several more to follow.

The prevailing prices of MP3 player shuffle with charger and hands-free (low-end brands) of China are $1.93/Pc. The reference values of mobile charger switch without cord (low-end) brands of China are 0.7/pc. The reference values of HDMI cable of China are $9.0/kg. The reference values of multi-purpose chargers (low-end brands) of China are $1.50/pc.

Chairman Nisar Mohammad Khan has advised all the collectorates and directorates to keep strict monitoring of the transactional values of imported goods and their proper assessment in order to ensure that government revenue is not lost through under-invoicing.

Director General Customs Valuation Syed Tanvir Ahmed has initiated this exercise and values of thousands of importable items prone to under-invoicing are being scrutinized and revised where necessary.

Sources said chairman FBR has advised Member Customs Nasir Masroor to direct all formations to extend all cooperation to make this initiative informally known as ‘Plan Tanveer’ a success.

The revision in the customs values of importable goods in line with the prevailing prices in the international market would facilitate legitimate trade and discourage smuggling.

Chairman FBR Nisar Mohammad Khan has tasked Director General Customs Valuation Syed Tanveer Ahmed to streamline the customs values of all importable goods particularly from China, as there has been gross under-invoicing of imports from China.

It may be mentioned here that there has been a huge disparity between the import figures at Pakistan Customs and export number of China Customs in a similar period of time, which suggests that imports from China are being largely under-invoiced resulting in revenue loss to the country.

Syed Tanveer Ahmed told that the revision and streamlining of customs values of importable goods would not affect the end-prices and end-consumers would not be affected. He said these values are brought at par with the prevailing international prices and would discourage under-invoicing.

Trade bodies are of the view that Customs was increasing the customs values by 200-300 percent which was not justified. Most of the valuation rulings are being challenged before courts.

Chairman FBR tasked the DG Customs Valuation to develop database values of importable goods, so that under-invoicing could be eliminated. Whenever values are increased or duty/tax are increased on goods, these goods find their way into the country through smuggling. Mostly, these goods are imported for Transit Trade but then these are smuggled back into Pakistan.

Director Afghan Transit Trade Wajid Ali is monitoring the import patterns under transit trade, and if any ambiguity is noted, the ambit of investigation and scrutiny would be broadened to ascertain whether these goods are smuggled in Pakistan.

Moreover Collector Quetta Saeed Jadoon is also monitoring the imports from Afghanistan and it also be verified that the goods imported from Afghanistan are actually produced in the neighboring country.

Local markets particularly mobile markets are flooded with the smuggled and non-duty paid goods. MCC Preventive Karachi and I&I-ASO tried to bring this illegal business to task, but due to the law & order situation in the cosmopolitan city, the campaign could not be much efficient.

The trade bodies are said to be behind this smuggling patronizing this. These bodies also engineered pressure on the authorities.

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