The Karachi Customs Agents Association informed through a Press Release that in order to facilitate the trade in general and Customs Agents Community (Service Providers) in particular during the ongoing lockdown situation due to outbreak of Novol Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Managing Committee of Karachi Customs Agent Association under their respective capacities are performing their role and making all possible efforts for the redressal of grievances being faced by the members, which are as under parawise:
1) KCAA delegation headed by President Yahya Muhammad alongwith General Secretary Muhammad Aamir & Joint Secretary Zahid Bashir Chaudhary a meeting with the Honorable Commissioner Karachi and discussed the ongoing situation & business transactions pertaining to clearance of import & export consignments during the lockdown period. It was assured by the Hon’ble Commissioner Karachi that all possible considerations will be extended to the Customs Agents community. It has been conveyed by our members that by proving their identity related to customs or ports law enforcement agencies are allowing custom agents to travel to their work related destination.
2) Subsequently a delegation of KCAA had a discussion with the Chief Collector South (Enforcement) and requested to allow access of Customs Agents, wherein it was directed by the Chief Collector to avoid unnecessary interaction & also assured that all Customs Officers/Officials are performing their work in their respective jurisdictions through e-based online system. However, in case of most important work the representatives of customs agents can approach the customs officers along with their identity cards issued by the KCAA / Customs / KPT authorities for physical appearance. In this regard a detailed circular has been issued by the Preventive Collectorate.
3) KCAA has requested the higher authorities of FBR and Pakistan Customs i.e. The Member Customs (Policy) and Chief Collector South (Appraisement) & (Enforcement) that in view of the foregoing situation, it would be near impossible for traders/custom agents to submit Duty / Taxes on time hence it was requested to the member customs to exercise the power under Section 224 of the Custom Act 1969 for extension of time limit and condone the fine/Penalty for delay in late filing of Goods Declaration upto 30 days instead of 10 days, imposed under clause 47.A of Section 156 of the Custom Act 1969 as a gesture to support & facilitate the trade. Hopefully favorable results will be achieved in in this regard.
4) KCAA requested the Member Customs (Policy) FBR and higher authorities of Pakistan Customs to issue necessary directions to the Ports / Terminals as well as Shipping Companies for the waiver of Port Demurrage & Container Rents by the Shipping Companies for the at-least 30 days.
5) It may please be noted that 2nd Review will be entertained by the concerned AC/DC on telephone, hence members are requested to contact their respective AC/DC over the telephone for 2nd review. However, in case of any issue pertaining to reviews by the concerned AC/DC members are advised to contact any Office Bearers of KCAA in order to resolve their problems.
6) KCAA has proposed to the customs that since the WeBOC system is working online but hard copy of FTA certificate needs to be submitted over the counter for verification in this regard members are advised to submit scanned FTA and On-Line Verification while filing the goods declaration, so that it may be processed without visiting custom house FTA COUNTERS.
7) KCAA is in liaison with the Shipping lines. In this regard Maersk Pakistan have already deputed their staff at Port Qasim, whereas the other lines included Cosco Saeed, UMA & OOCL are also in coordination with KCAA in respect of submission of documents and issuance of delivery orders. Kindly let us know in case of any issue faced by any member regarding shipping companies.
8) We are pleased to inform that KCAA are making efforts regarding online payments at Terminals & submission of all required documents electronically through Email of Customs Agents. Inshallah in the upcoming days this facility will be implemented for the facilitation of our customs agent’s community.
It is also pertinent to mention here that through the efforts of KCAA when the business activity of custom agent community was starting to get affected KCAA issued precautionary measures for our members to be safe from the pandemic and also held discussion with the MCC Appraisement East and MCC Appraisement West which subsequently resulted in an order which stated that all hearing with concerned officials can be conducted over the phone and a list of nominated officials was also circulated.
Hence in view of foregoing fact mentioned above, KCAA assured that in these difficult times we are standing with our members, may Al-Mighty Allah help us in leading the way in the most effective manner through this pandemic.
Herein we would like to informed that KCAA’s Members and trade / business community appreciated the efforts made by Karachi Customs Agents Association, especially Mr. Khurram Ijaz (Vice President) of Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce & Industry recognized and highly acknowledged the working of KCAA and assured their full cooperation on behalf of FPCCI for the facilitation of trade in wake of ongoing lockdown country’s situation.