Karachi: M/s Ermi Fresh, an importing company, recently found itself in hot water after electronically filing a Goods Declaration (GD) for a consignment of assorted models of solar panels. The importer declared a value of US$344,640 for the consignment, which fell under the PCT heading 8541.4300. However, suspicions were raised regarding possible mis-declaration, leading to an investigation by customs officials.

During a meeting led by Additional Collector MCC Appraisement East Mushtaq Shahani, concerns were raised, prompting the staff to scrutinize the consignment further. Principal Appraiser Muhmmad Farooq was assigned to examine one container out of the four in the consignment. The scrutiny revealed mis-declarations related to the PCT, description, quantity, and invoice value in the Electronic Import Form EIF). The importer failed to provide adequate evidence to support their declarations.

The case became more complex when it was discovered that the Electronic Import Form (EIF) provided by M/s. Ermi Fresh pertained to betel leaves classified under HS code 1404.9020, with an invoice value of US$6,720. This raised significant doubts about the accuracy and legitimacy of the importer’s declarations for the solar panels, which had a declared value of $344,640.

Deputy Collector Dr. Zohaib took action by serving a contravention notice on the importer. After conducting a thorough adjudication process, PA Adjudication Imtiaz Hussain established the allegations of mis-declaration in the EIF. As a result, the imported goods were ordered to be confiscated, with the option for the importer to redeem them upon payment of a 20% fine amounting to Rs22.2 million. Additionally, a penalty of Rs100,000 was imposed on the importer for the violations.

In response to the penalties and fines imposed, M/s Ermi Fresh paid the required amounts, redeeming the imported consignment. The case serves as a reminder of the importance of accurate declarations and adherence to customs regulations when importing goods into Pakistan.