Three years delay in finalizing PCT Heading leads to hundreds of cases SHC defers hearing in dozens of SCRA’s filed by the Collector Customs

KARACHI: An appellate bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Aqeel Ahmed Abbasi and Justice Abdul Malik Gaddi on Tuesday deferred hearing of dozens of Special Custom Reference Applications (SCRA’s) filed by Collector Customs against two importing firms.

Ghulam Haider Sheikh advocate appearing for the applicant Collector Custosms against Pak Office Products and  Marsons Ltd submitted that applicant lawfully raised the demand for recovery of  short customs duty, taxes etc which was assailed before the tribunal by the respondents.

He submitted that respondents imported computer accessories which were released after provisional assessment on the basis of the Goods Declration (GD) filed by the respondents/importers. He submitted that respondents sought release of the consignments on zero rating (Custom Duty) where-as the same attracted 5 per cent duty besides other levies. He said that while the Customs was in process of adjudicating their cases, they approached the FBR for seeking a clarification which lead to the instant controversy.

The counsel for respondent/importer disputed the contentions and said in the year 2007 FBR  brought changes in the tariff  headings. FBR was itself not cleared about the value/tariff of different importable orders that which item is classifiable under which PCT heading. FBR itself asked the importers that after provisional assessment they can approach the FBR for a clarification regarding PCT heading in case of a dispute with the Custom Officials.

He said that respondent/importer has paid all the duty and taxes after the consignments were assessed under section 79 of the Customs Act 1969 after which the consignments were released under section 80. He said that section 81 does not comes into play in respect of consignments in dispute.

The bench after a detailed hearing asked both the sides to satisfy the court about their respective arguments while deferring further hearing till September 13.

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