FBR initiates program to verify import documents of foreign goods available in markets

KARACHI: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is strengthening its efforts and has started a phased program in this regard which includes verification of import documents of foreign goods available in the markets.

With effect from September 1, 2019 special joint teams of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) may be visiting major shopping areas especially large retailers in major cities to check the import documents of the imported goods available for sale to ensure compliance to various requirements of the law.

Economy in general, and industrial activities in particular are being seriously affected due to availability of smuggled goods, especially consumer goods in the markets. Government of Pakistan is undertaking various steps to curb these undesirable practices and inter alia some actions to this effect have also been incorporated in the Finance Act, 2019.

Under the Provisions of the Customs Act, 1969 FBR has powers to seek import documents for the imported goods available for sale to consumers from the person dealing in such goods.

It is reiterated that this exercise does not represent ‘raid’ on the premises or any coercive action against the traders. The purpose of this exercise is only to ensure that relevant import documents are available and foreign goods available for sale are properly backed by documents.

It has further been decided that such exercises will be undertaken on ‘test’ check basis. All teams will be conducting respective identification as being officially designated and the team will be headed by a senior person.

In case if for any reason such documents are not readily available at the shops/offices then teams will provide adequate opportunity to submit the document in the respective offices/ shops after reasonable time.

All the relevant persons are expected to cooperate with the FBR personnel during this exercise which is being undertaken to ensure compliance of laws and discourage sale of smuggled goods.

FBR has advised Member Customs (Operations) and Member (IR-Operations) to supervise the activity and provide complete assistance to the joint teams wherever required.

Director General (I&I) Customs and Director General (I&I) Inland Revenue are also advised to constitute joint teams keeping in view the scope of the activity on countrywide basis.

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