KARACHI: In order to address the perennial problem of mis-invoicing (generally known as “Under-Invoicing”), Pakistan Customs has developed an electronic solution which has recently been launched by the Directorate General Valuation (Customs), Karachi.

Member Customs Mukarram Jah Ansari had envisioned to eliminate under-invoicing and over-invoicing. Director General Valuation Gul Rehman led the team of Customs Valuation comprising Director Valuation Fayyaz Rasool, Additional Director Ghulam Haider, Deputy Directors Qurat-ul-Ain, Maqbool Baloch and Nauman Tashfeen in preparing the system.

This system, called LIVE (Linking International Values), has been developed by Directorate of Reforms & Automation team comprising Directors Sanaullah Abro, Ashraf Ali and Riaz Chaudhry from PRAL, and it has been digitally integrated with the WeBOC system.

The system works by providing current price data of different commodities and goods from reputed international publications, which enables Assessing Officers to cross check declared values and to re-assess in case of variations.

Overhauling the existing system for improving the assessment of imported goods is one of main objectives of the current reform efforts.  A number of interventions have been designed and made part of the Prime Minister’s Strategic Road Map for plugging revenue leakages and reducing the tax gap.

The LIVE system was proposed by a team of Pakistan Customs, including current Member Customs – Operations, in a Study Report on Customs Valuation which was issued in May 2019.  Other interventions recommended in Study Report included a robust Risk Management System, an effective Post Clearance Audit Department and a cutting edge ICT solution to deliver the complete eco-system at par with any developed economy. A few months ago, the fast track implementation of all these recommendations has been initiated by Pakistan Customs.

The New System not only makes the published value digitally visible to the Assessing Officers (AOs), but it also confirms its utilization by that Assessing Officer for assessment of an item. Furthermore, such assessment becomes part of the ninety (90) days data which would help in strengthening/improving quality of the transactional value data.

In the first phase of launching the LIVE system, the integrated International Publications include London Metal Bulletin (LMB); Public Ledger; Emerging Textile, Platts, Reuters, ICIS and Asian Pulp & Paper (Risi Info). Import value of the said items (during the financial year 2021-22) is Rs. 821 Billion. In line with the Prime Minister’s Strategic Roadmap, values of other important items (such as chemicals, Edible Oils, Coated & Uncoated paper, Polyester Filament Yarn & Fibre, and other items) shall be integrated in the System by 30th June, 2023.