KARACHI: In line with the recommendation of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Pakistan Customs has granted relief to transshipment (TP) consignments from the condition of electronic I-Form.
Consignments which filed their manifest before August 30, 2016 would be processed without the electronic I-Form through One Customs. This interim relief is for transshipment (TP) consignments only.
Although the implementation of electronic I-Form brings facilitation for traders and documentation of transactions, but there still are some challenges facing the Customs as well as the central bank.
The electronic record of the transactions i.e. payment for the imported goods would get a legal cover hence rendering the Valuation Rulings useless. This would open door for under-invoicing in another manner as importers are transmitting part of the amount through the legal banking channels and the rest would be transmitted through the informal/illegal channels; and the authorities would have to accept the values as per the I-Form.
In order to effectively monitor imports into Pakistan, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Pakistan Customs have successfully launched and implemented Electronic Import From (EIF) Module in WeBOC (Web Based One Custom), the IT system of Pakistan Customs from September 1, 2016. The said Module has been developed in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders including the importers, clearing agents, bankers, etc.
Well before the launch of EIF Module, a series of awareness sessions were conducted by a joint team of SBP and Pakistan Customs at leading Chambers of Commerce throughout the country during the last five months. During awareness sessions, it was mentioned at all forums that the importers shall be filing the EIF using their existing IDs in WeBOC which they also use for filling the Goods Declaration. Thus, no additional formalities on this account are involved.
It is worth mentioning that the Module was widely publicized by SBP and Pakistan Customs through public notices, press release etc in the media. Further, comprehensive training sessions for Authorized Dealers (ADs) have also been conducted by SBP to train the relevant bank staff of southern, central and northern regions of the country. Thus, importers may contact respective branches of ADs or Pakistan Customs’ help desks at various Collectorates around the country.