Virtual port handling and banking system needed to avoid shutdown of ports

KARACHI: As the Corona epidemic has pushed almost entire world into a lockdown, authorities are developing and implementing systems to ensure smooth trade and port activities.

Customs agent Hasan Tariq has proposed a Virtual Atmosphere for Customs and Banking that would avoid shut down of ports.

As the world grapples with the coronavirus, the economic impact is mounting – with the OECD warning the virus presents the biggest danger to the global economy since the 2008 financial crisis.

UNCTAD, the UN trade agency, warned of a slowdown of global growth to under 2% this year, effectively wiping $1 trillion off the value of the world economy.

Tariq in a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan suggested establishment of a Complaint center with tracking so that every measure is enforced; Upgradation of IT infrastructure to absorb web traffic .

He noted any Pakistani citizen with Customs Identity card or Custom Agent card must be exempt from lock downs.

Hasan Tariq of M/s VClear Pakistan suggested to enforce Banks to issue user ID and password for every business account within 3 or 5 days; Facility must be for all business users, proprietors, AOP, Companies, etc without requirement of debit card, atm card or any other requirement that can delay the process.

Traders may collect user ID and password after bio metric verification.

He proposed Payment of all duties, taxes, port payments, ETO, fine, penalties online resolving all issues for payments that are currently not online payable.

A system for Development of virtual File opening and tracking till issue is resolved;
Exemption of EIF exemption on request; Submission of Certain documents online with parallel verification system without necessity to hold consignment; Submission of PDC through online banking using scanned cheque with number;
All certificates shall be submitted online.
A parallel system for random verification run by department without holding/informing importer/exporter; Legislation to consider online I.B as legally acceptable;
Online token meeting system where meeting is essential; Must be ensured that officer meets at given time.

FBR must establish ease of doing business policy for 3 months:
All clearances must be done as per past practice/precedent;
PCA may be vigilant to see revenue leakages;
No new issue/practice may be created;
Profile must be strictly observed before sending containers to examine;
Minor issues must be ignored;
Time limits must be enforced for all consignments;
Retail price undertaking instead of confirmation through examination;
Unnecessary taking out of goods from container may not be required where assessment is on weight, only allowed to open gate of container and see if satisfactory.
To ensure smooth exports:
Avoidance of ANF where possible; Reduction in taking out of goods from containers;
Increase green channel for exports;
Payments and submission of documents to be online Increase free days with fixation of max limit by shipping company or port;
Port or shipping company shall be enforced not to charge storage/detention above the max limit;
Free days to extend as per lock downs by provincial government;
Subsidy to develop internet infrastructure/charges.

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