KARACHI: An assessment alert issued by the Assistant Collector, Customs, East was set aside by Custom Appellate bench of High Court of Sindh while allowing a petition filed by Universal Recyling, importer of tyre scrap into pieces.

Under the said assessment alter, the assessing officers were asked to assess the goods at a rate of US $ 0.07 against a Valuation Ruling which fixed the valuation at a rate of US $ 0.04.

Ghulam Nabi Shar advocate representing the petitioner company submitted that on 24-12-2022, assessment alert was issued with orders that tyres cut into 3 pieces shall be assessed at a rate of US$ 0.07 per kilogram. The counsel maintained that alert was in violation of section 25 of the Customs Act 1969 as value of goods can be determined and assessed and on the basis of a valid Valuation Ruling.

The Assistant Collector Appraisement East who was in attendance on court notice said that assessment alert was issued with the approval of competent authority, whereas the process of issuing a Valuation Ruling is undergoing and a meeting is scheduled today the day petition was being heard.

The bench asked the respondent AC to refer to any law or authority or powers vested in his office or Office of the Collector concerned or competent authority to fix or determine the value of goods in question and then circulate the same amongst sub-ordinate officers. As the respondent was unable to satisfy the court, the bench observed that determination of the valuation is the function of Director, Valuation department and Director General is vested with powers to review such valuation while a Collector of Customs can only refer a matter to DG Valuation  in terms of section 25-A and nothing beyond that.

The bench also held that assessment alert at the most is just an advice and not binding and the Collector has no jurisdiction to do so. The bench further held that when a Valuation Ruling exists assessment can be only on the basis of such Valuation Ruling and not on the basis of any Valuation Advice or else.

The bench allowed the petition while setting aside the impugned assessment alert and ordered assessment on the basis of Valuation Ruling.