KCCI seeks 90 day extension for printing of retail price or affixing stickers on imported items

KARACHI: President Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) Junaid Esmail Makda has requested the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to extend the relaxation given for clearance of imported items under Third Schedule without printing of retail price or affixing stickers for 90 more days as the import orders were booked in advance for around 3 to 6 months while the packaging of the ordered products was already designed and printed at the initial stage.

In a letter sent to Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi, President KCCI stated that on KCCI’s request FBR gave an extension of just 15 days for the implementation of the said condition but it was too short for importers to fulfill the new requirements and the process still remains incomplete, hence, the relevant notification should be extended for 90 days.

He was of the opinion that it was not possible to re-print MRP on the old stock while any request of making changes at the eleventh hour are unacceptable to the sellers and spoils the credibility / goodwill of the trader. “The MRP cannot be assessed by the importer as they sell their imported goods to dealers who sell to distributors and they subsequently sell to retailers across the country while the end retail price including all the margins was determined afterwards which varies in different cases and cannot be standardized across Pakistan”, he added.

He said that KCCI has received repeated requests from the importers that they were facing severe problems in meeting the requirements of printing Minimum Retail Price (MRP) on items added under the Third Schedule. In the Finance Act 2019-20, Sales Tax has been imposed at the import stage based on the printed MRP and many new items have been added to the Third Schedule of Sales Tax Act 1990.

He said that on KCCI’s request, FBR allowed clearance of imported Third Schedule items without printing of retail price or affixing stickers for which goods declaration are filed by 31st July, 2019 subject to the condition that the importer declares retail price for each of the imported items for the assessment of sales tax vide Sales Tax General Order No. 102 / 2019 dated July 15, 2019 to clear the backlog at the ports.

He reiterated that it is impractical to pre-assess and then print the MRP at import stage on each and every item as a lot of factors affect the retail prices of the products like currency fluctuations, packing style, fragility and size of product, distance from ports &, transportation costs, market dynamics, competition, shelf life, and uncertainties of sale in future especially for seasonal items.

Hence, Junaid Makda requested to withdraw the condition of printing MRP on imported goods or otherwise, allow MRP of the imported items to be declared on WEBOC along with the Goods Declaration (GD) for tax assessment purposes instead of being printed on each and every imported item. After the imposition of MRP, what will be the status of Import Trade Price (ITP) / Customs Valuation of items in the third schedule which also needs to be clarified, he added.

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