KARACHI: The Board of Export Processing Zone Authority (EPZA) has requested the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to thoroughly investigate the issue of smuggling and mis-declaration by the used/worn clothing units of export promotion zone (EPZ). EPZA also requested the FBR to investigate the issue of missing containers.
Moreover, EPZA imposed a ban on new permission/license for used textile clothing units in the zone as well as restricted sale, purchase and transfer of such gods to existing units.
Collector MCC Export Port Qasim Saifuddin Junejo had formed a team comprising Deputy Collector Ali Ejaz and Principal Appraisers Shafiullah, Shaihd Ibrahim Dasti and Abdul Razzak to prepare a comprehensive report regarding misuse of EPZ facility for mis-declaration and smuggling.
The report was then forwarded to EPZA for action. In a recent meeting, Board of EPZA discussed that by allowing worn clothing in the zone, the management had deviated from the main mandate of EPZ.
There are several processing units in export promotion zone that import used and worn clothing from across the world; these clothes are then sorted, washed, packed and re-exported to African countries primarily.
Chief Customs Fayyaz Rasool informed the meeting that Customs authorities had also expressed reservations on the business cycle of used clothing units as some of these units were indulging in the smuggling of various goods including electronics and betel nut.
The board decided that to restrict the activity, no fresh permission/license would be given to used/worn clothing; sale, purchase and transfer of used/worn clothing would not be allowed to existing units.
EPZA Board noted the worn/used clothing business had given extra ordinary rise to the real estate business in the zone, which had resulted in sky rocketing of prices of plots in export promotion zone keeping away the manufacturing ventures.
The meeting was informed that such activities had been banned in number of countries because of smuggling and revenue loss.
It may be mentioned here that Pakistan imported worn clothing worth $114 million during July-February 2018-19, up 7.8 percent compared with imports of $105.4 million in the corresponding period last year.
The EPZA Board noted the issue of smuggling and mis-declaration should be brought to the notice of Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) along with the issue of missing containers for full investigation.