Textile firm seeks quashing of FIR illegally lodged by Customs I&I, Rawalpindi

KARACHI: M/s Hunbul Textile Pvt Ltd and M/s Capital Cargo Services have approached Islamabad seeking quashing of an FIR lodged against them by Customs Intelligence & Investigation, Rawalpindi with malafide intention.

Customs Intelligence & Investigation, Rawalpindi has lodged an FIR against M/s Hunbul Textile Pvt Ltd and M/s Capital Cargo Services that the importer in nexus with clearing agent and concerned customs staff misdeclared description, value and PCT heading of the imported goods in order to evade government revenue.

The FIR came as a surprise as the clearance collectorate cleared the goods in line with the determination of Customs Classification Committee. Meanwhile, Customs Intelligence & Investigation arrested Principal Appraiser AFU Rawalpindi Tahir Khan in this case while the court has granted 3-day remand of Tahir Khan to Customs Intelligence & Investigation, Rawalpindi.

According to details, importer imports Hunbul Textile Reactive Dyes from different customs stations of the country mostly from Karachi and Islamabad. All such consignments have always been cleared by the customs authorities under the HS Code 3204.1600 of customs tariff of Pakistan. The HS Code 3204.1600 describes the goods as “reactive dyes, and preparations based thereon”.

The quashment application notes, one consignment consisting of Hunbul Textile Reactive Dyes imported through AFU Islamabad in January 2018 was withheld/retained by the customs authorities without issuing any notice u/s 171 of the Customs Act, 1969 for about 03 months. The consignment was not released on the pretext that the consignment did not consist of Reactive Dyes which are covered under HS Code 3204.1600 rather the same was Ultra Violet (UV) ink which was covered under HS Code 3215.9090 which attracts far higher value as well as taxes/duties.

So, essentially, customs authorities disputed the classification of the consignment. Customs Laboratory Lahore found the goods to be consisting of water miscible micronized aqueous preparation based on reactive dyes. As Lahore lab report had used incorrect HS Code i.e. 3215.9090, which was in conflict with its own analysis of the chemical composition of the consignment, the customs authorities sought second lab report, which was issued by Industrial Analytical Center, HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry, University of Karachi, which confirmed that the main ingredient is reactive dyes.

Customs authorities also constituted two different committees, the first was classification committee and the second was survey committee. The classification committee confirmed that the consignment consists of Reactive Dyes used in the digital printing of fabrics and is specifically classifiable under HS Code 3204.1600. The classification committee also mentions that a surveying committee also confirms on the basis of physical survey that the consignment is used for digital printing of textile fabric. Therefore the customs authorities released the consignment declaring the HS Code 3204.1600 to be the correct HS Code.

Nonetheless, Customs Intelligence & Investigation, Rawalpindi illegally detained the consignment and lodged a bogus FIR to harass the importer, while an AFU Rawalpindi official is arrested.

M/s Hunbul Textile Pvt Ltd and M/s Capital Cargo Services have prayed to the Islamabad High Court that the subject Fir be quashed and proceedings of the trial court be suspended during the proceedings of the instant writ petition.

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