KARACHI: Collector MCC Port Qasim Ashad Jawwad has approached MCC Preventive Karachi requesting that the consignments may be escorted from MCC (A&F) Port Qasim to the importer’s warehouses in Karachi by mobile squads of MCC (E&C), Karachi to ensure their safe transportation.

It may be mentioned here Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has notified that iron and steel scrap consignments pertaining to industrial consumers based in FATA/PATA areas are being allowed to proceed to their warehouses for de-stuffing of containers, onward transportation of goods in vehicles which shall be installed with trackers/non-intrusive belts.

MCC Port Qasim also requested that Preventive squads may ensure de-stuffing of containers at the warehouses and onward movement of imported goods in vehicles duly installed with trackers/non-intrusive belts as per instructions of FBR.

A meeting was held under Chairman FBR with Inland Revenue-Operations and Customs Operations Wings to sort out the issues of imported goods of FATA/PATA residents stuck-up at Karachi Ports.

After thorough deliberations, a mechanism was devised for the release of consignments of FATA/PATA residents stuck-up at the Karachi Ports

The stuck-up containers are to be released by Customs authorities against Post dated Cheques (PDCs) and sent to their destination (FATA/PATA) under standard tracker mechanism. The Collector Customs (Enforcement & Compliance), Peshawar, will issue detention orders of the raw materials effective from day the consignment reaches the manufacturing premise of importers.

The IRS Peshawar will verify/undertake physical visit as conducted by the importer/manufacturer to the manufacturing premises where the goods are kept under detention, and allow the raw material to be consumed/utilized in writing.

IRS will ensure the monthly stock-taking of the raw materials to be consumed in the production of manufactured goods by these manufacturing units.

An official said the goods would be transported to Peshawar for assessment and clearance. Interestingly, there are no large yards, where these consignments could be examined. Peshawar dry port has the capacity of 350 containers, but examination needs way more space and less than 10 containers can be examined in such a space.

Official said this mechanism would open another way of pilferage and misuse of tax exemptions, as happened in the case of SRO No.1125/2011.

The official said ‘Safe Transportation’ could have been the better option. Under Safe Transportation, the taxes are received and then the consignments are sealed, thereof containers are removed to warehouses and then the owners get these cleared through filing of Goods Declaration. The bonded carriers are responsible for safe keeping of the consignments.

Sources said the revenue evasion and pilferage of consignments destined FATA/PATA was going for some time. However, the issue was intentionally ignored for the senate elections, and now this channel of smuggling and revenue evasion is being plugged.