KARACHI: A division bench of High Court of Sindh (SHC) comprising Justice Munib Akhtar and Justice Omar Sial on Friday adjourned hearing of constitution petitions seeking clearance of imported consignments through WeBOC or Green channel system.
The bench will hear the petition on Monday, Nov 20.
Facing the surmounting demurrage charges due to inordinate delay in release of consignments from Ports of Karachi, number of importers and trade association filed petitions before High Court of Sindh seeking WeBOC facility which was suspended and consignments were cleared under “One Custom” clearance system.
According to petitioners including leading petitioner All Pakistan Tiles Association represented by Franklin Law Associates, Sindh High Court hearing petitions against imposition of Regulatory Duty on more than 400 items allowed interim relief wherein release of consignments were ordered and importers of tiles were allowed to benefit from a SRO attracting custom duty and other taxes at concessionary rates.
In order to nullify the said order in favor of the importers of tiles, the Custom authorities have stopped clearing the consignments under Weboc and are assessing and clearing the consignment under “One Custom” facility. As a result the rate of clearance is very slow as 5-7 consignments are cleared daily while previously under WeBOC system 50 or more consignments were cleared daily. The importers are facing a loss of rupees 0.4 to 06 million per consignment in terms of demurrage charges, the petitioners maintains praying to the court to direct the custom authorities to revert back to WeBOC system saving the importers from delay as well as demurrage charges.
WeBOC (Web Based One Customs) is fully integrated paperless Pakistan customs computerized clearance system which has started to revolutionize the way imports/exports are carried out in Pakistan as well as in the region. WeBOC has proved itself as a dependable and established product of international standing. As compared to previous system (One Customs – processing on computer along with manual processing on hard copies), WeBOC provides an opportunity to file Goods Declaration on line after attaching scanned documents, if required. The system calculates the quantum of duty and taxes on the spot and generates a message to the filer to deposit the same, which can be paid online (through Personal Deposit account facility).
A risk management system operates at the back end. The consignments selected by the system under green channel are cleared immediately after payment of duty and taxes. At present, almost 30-33% consignments are cleared under green channel.