Dispute between I&I Quetta and MCC Quetta gets severe

KARACHI: The dispute between Customs Intelligence & Investigation Quetta and MCC Appraisement Quetta has gone severe with reports and complaints reaching Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) vt both the parties.

In a letter to Member Customs Tariq Huda, Collector Quetta Abdul Waheed Marwat noted Directorate of Customs Intelligence & Investigation (I&I) Quetta and Gwadar stopped multiple consignments and made contraventions against goods cleared from different Customs Stations of MCC Quetta on the issue of valuation etc.

Moreover I&I Quetta detained two consignments of pistachio with shell at NLC Dry Port, one at at gate out stage and one at assessment stage.

Marwat noted the said action of I&I Quetta was beyond the laid down jurisdiction, however, a joint examination was conducted and no mis-declaration in terms of description, quality and quantity was found.

However, later on, I&I staff raised questions about the basis of valuation and subsequently made contravention cases against both the GDs.

Marwat mentioned valuation of Pistachio and Pistachio shelled were determined by erstwhile Collector Quetta after thorough consultation with the then Director General of Customs Valuation. Directorate General of Customs Valuation had advised MCC Quetta to follow the 90-day clearance data till a mechanism was devised to determine values of such items.

Marwat said I&I Quetta did not have jurisdiction to examine, detain or seize goods lying in the Customs area under MCC Quetta control. The Contraventions served by I&I Quetta were outside of its purview.

“The trade bodies were agitating this action of Customs I&I Quetta and in this scenario the trade activities may suffer a negative trend,” Marwat noted.

Collector Quetta requited Member Customs Tariq Huda that the issue of jurisdiction a well as future hampering of trade could be amicably resolved.

On the other hand, Director I&I Quetta Muhammad Ismail approached Director General Customs Intelligence and Investigation-FBR Abdul Rasheed Shaikh apprising that Directorate conducted a thorough analysis of the clearance data of Appraisement Quetta and observed several irregularities.

I&I Quetta mentioned non-application of Valuation Ruling No 1031/2017 in assessment of Pistachio as goods are being assessed at $1.2S instead of $2.97, which resulted in loss of revenue to tune of Rs.854 million during 2019-2020. The practice is still continuing.

Non-application of Valuation Ruling No 1017/2017 & 1451/2020 in assessment of Nylon Mesh Net fabrics as goods are being assessed at $1.0 instead of $1.5, which resulted in loss of revenue to tune of Rs545 million.

Non-application of Valuation Ruling No. 1350/2019 in assessment of Cumin seeds (Zeera); non-application of Valuation Ruling No 1350/2019 in assessment of coriander; non levy of Regulatory Duty of 25 percent in clearances of potatoes.

I&I Quetta also noted in clearances of whey powder, artificial jewelry, glass ware, cumin seeds, suiting fabrics at NLC Dry Port, though VRs were applied but abnormal tare weight was given, resulting in colossal loss of revenue.

“High value items like tea, dry fruits and auto parts are imported and mis-declared in garb of low value items like moth beans attracting only 2.0 percent WHT. Moth beans imported at Chaman dry port are in millions of metric tons beyond production capacity of Afghanistan,” I&I Quetta noted.

Director General Andul Rasheed Shaikh is also apprised that in dozens of cases, white spirit cleared was later found to be either HSD or Kerosene oil instead of white spirit.

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