Karachi Customs Agents Association informed through press release that in order to resolve certain issues relating to Import & Export the delegation comprising of Mr. Saif Ullah Khan President Karachi Customs Agents Association, Mr. Arshad Khurshid General Secretary KCAA, Mr. Asif Sakhi Founder & Chairman Pakistan Customs Agents Alliance, Mr. Khurram Ijaz Former President KCAA, Mr. Mohammad Amin Essani Former President KCAA, Mr. Maqbool Ahmed Malik former Chairman Advisory Council KCAA, Mr. Nadeem Kamil Former General Secretary KCAA and Mr. Gulzar Shah Chairman Advisory Council KCAA held a meeting with the Honorable Member Customs (Operation) Mr. Mukkaram Jah Ansari on 13th August 2022 in the Conference Room Custom House, Karachi.

In the said meeting the proposals for the trade facilitation were discussed in details. Member Customs FBR gave a very patient hearing to the proposals put up by Karachi Customs Agents Association and assured to extend their full cooperation in the best interest of trade.

In order to boost country’s economy and to increase revenue target to the national exchequer, the Member Customs (Operation) FBR appreciated the role of Customs Agents Associations and its community.

The delegation of Karachi Customs Agents Association appreciated for the positive attitude and certainly appreciates for the assurance given by the Member Customs (Operation) FBR to consider our proposals for the betterment of country’s economy.

Copy of the agenda points discussed in the aforesaid meeting is attached for publication in the esteemed newspaper.

Points for Discussion with the Member Customs (Operation) Federal Board of Revenue:

  1. Currently there is no module in WeBOC system for the upfront payment of sales tax levied under Third Schedule of Sales Act 1990 while filing the Goods Declaration. The assessing officer has to re-assess the GD by mean of add levy option for the collection of subject sales tax for each and every GD falling under Third Schedule of the Sales Act 1990. This procedure not only increases the dwell time of customs clearance but also hits the profile of trader and subsequently the RMS marks the declarations of trader to yellow or red category.

It is proposed that, Add levy option may be given to the traders/Customs Agents while filing the Goods Declaration to pay the required sales tax under Third Schedule of Sales Tax Act, 1990 with upfront payment of duty and taxes. This will enable the traders to pay the taxes on self-assessment basis.

  1. FBR has issued SRO.250 (I)/2022 to amend the Custom Rules 2001 for filing of Goods Declaration under PSW without upfront payment of duty and taxes. However there is no procedure devised to for the applicability of the rules yet.

It is requested, that necessary amendment in Custom Act 1969 and PSW system may be initiated to allow to filing of GDs without payment of upfront taxes.

  1. Currently, SRO.499 (I)/2009 is also applicable on export consignments, despite a clarification of FBR # C.NO.10(17)L&P/2005 dated 04th July 2009 is also on record and it states that only those cases are referred to the adjudication where mens rea  of duty and taxes is obvious, however there is no involvement of duty & taxes in export shipments. Further the said SRO is issued under section 181 of the Customs Act 1969 and the proviso of section 181 is confined to import related violation and is reproduce as under :

“Provided further that the Board may, by an order, fix the amount of fine which, in lieu of confiscation, shall be imposed on any goods or class of goods imported in violation of the provisions of section 15 or of a notification issued under section 16 48[or in violation of any other provisions of this Act, or any other law for the time being in force.”

It is proposed that all export related offence may be adjudicated within the Export Collectorate and may be penalized under section 156(1) clause (i) or any relevant clause of section 156 of the Customs Act 1969.

  1. FBR has issued the draft Customs Clearance Rules Vide SRO.431(I)/2022 dated 15/3/2022, which not only defines the procedure of customs clearance for customs agents but also defines the procedure of self-clearance. Some minor changes were proposed by this association vide Letter # KCAA-328/2021-2022 dated 28/3/2022, but the final SRO pertaining to the Custom Clearance and Self-Clearance Rules is still pending notification. 

It is requested to please consider the genuine proposed changes of KCAA and notify the final customs clearance and self-clearance rules.

  1. No doubt the probationer officers (Assistant Collectors) are the assets of our country. They start their services after passing out the exams and then go through the learning period which takes times before they can make expeditious and mature decision. Whereas the workload at Collectorates of Karachi is much more when compared to other ports of Pakistan and it requires experience, maturity and knowledge to make expeditious decision on merit.

It is requested that Deputy Collectors may be considered for appointment at all Collectorates of Karachi instead of Probationer Officers (Assistant Collector) because DC’s have gone through the learning phase and are much more experienced.

  1. There is an acute shortage of Assessing Officers (AOs) at Karachi collectorate (Import & Export Stations).

It is requested to please enhance the strength of Assessing Officers as per work load of Karachi collectorate.

  1. Role of Principal Appraiser may be eliminated at Assessment review level and PAs may also be deputed for 1st There may be 2 review options for AC/DC, one can be electronically submitted and the 2nd may be physical hearing.

In this regard, a detail Review is require to check the consequences of this proposal

  1. Currently, The Goods Declaration cannot be filed and processed until the financial Instrument issued by the commercial bank is approved, except for open account transactions. Thus resulting in delay of the clearance process.

It is requested that FI requirement may be eliminated in cases of all mode of payments and the GD may be filed just by associating the IBAN of trader which is already updated in traders PSW profile. The same process can be adopted in case of Open Account transactions for speedy clearance of import cargo.

  1. Since several years exams for the Customs Agent License under Rule 93 are not being conducted by DGTR and the licensing collectorate is issuing provisional licenses under Rule 95(9) of SRO.450(I)/2001 Customs Rules 2001. These licenses are pending examination and need to be renewed after every six month and still remain provisional for many years.

As mention in Rule 93 of customs rule 2001 it is requested to please nominate any other independent educational Institute for the examination and finalization of Provisional Licenses and till that time all Provisional Licenses may be renewed for two (2) years after its 1st renewal of six months until the written examination is conducted. This proposal was earlier agreed by the immediate past honorable Chairman FBR, while addressing at the dinner hosted by KCAA in the month of March 2022.

  1. Currently the Budget related changes or the changes brought through any SRO are updated by the concerned Secretary Budget situated at FBR. These changes are often fed in the system by a significant delay by the IRIS officers meanwhile the Traders/Custom Agents are unable to file the Goods Declaration with necessary exemptions.

It is suggested that the updates pertaining to Customs & IRIS may be fed in WeBOC system by Secretary Budget (Customs) or Directorate of Reforms & Automation Karachi.

  1. Currently, there is unnecessary file work and delays are observed for cases pertaining to refund of duty & taxes and withdrawal from PD account.

It is requested that the procedure mentioned in Rule 538 to 545 of Customs Rules 2001 for Refund cases and Rule 532 to 537 of Customs Rules 2001 for PD account may be strictly be complied instead of initiating unnecessary file work.

  1. Law and Procedure Department has already been notified vide Finance Act, 2021.

It is requested to please activate the said directorate, so that Court cases may be pursued by the Directorate of Law and Prosecution instead of Appraisement Collectorate. This will enable the Appraisement staff to concentrate on finalizing goods declarations instead of working on law cases.

  1. Unnecessary delay is being faced on those consignments which are hold by the Directorate General of Intelligence and Investigation.

It is requested that DIT may expedite the process of their investigation. It is also requested to devise a time frame for DIT to conclude their cases within minimum amount of time.