PESHAWAR: MCC Peshawar has found that 48 Goods Declarations (GDs) of various importers, with an assessed value totaling Rs. 423.655 million, were cleared by customs authorities without the necessary attachment of Electronic Import Form (EIF) or Financial Instrument (FI).
Subsequent investigations have revealed that these importers had initially claimed exemption under Chapter 99, which was later disallowed by the concerned officials of the Collectorate. As a result, the importers paid all the required duties and taxes accordingly.
However, an anomaly occurred during the filing process of the GDs. The importers’ claim for exemption under Chapter 99 (9910) caused the WebOC System to remove the requirement for EIF. Unfortunately, even after the claimed exemption was disallowed, the system did not reinstate the EIF requirement, leading to the clearance of the goods without the necessary documentation.
It has been determined that the importers were able to exploit this technical glitch in the WeBOC (Web-Based One Customs) system, effectively circumventing the requirement for EIF. Recognizing the seriousness of the situation, the Collectorate has already reported the matter to the Director General of Research and Analysis (R&A), urging necessary changes to be made in the system to prevent similar incidents in the future (copy of the request enclosed).
In response to these findings, Collector Peshawar Muhammad Ashfaq has taken swift action by forwarding contravention reports for all such cases to the adjudication process. Orders have been issued to ensure that such incidents do not recur until the required modifications are implemented in the WeBOC system.
To address the widespread implications of this issue, the Board has decided to circulate this information to all field formations for their awareness and appropriate action in similar cases. This move aims to enhance vigilance among customs officials and reinforce the importance of adhering to the prescribed documentation procedures.
The incident underscores the significance of maintaining robust and glitch-free customs systems to prevent potential loopholes that may be exploited by unscrupulous entities. Authorities are determined to rectify the situation promptly to restore the integrity of the import process and safeguard revenue collection for the government.
As the necessary changes are implemented and further investigations ensue, it is expected that stricter measures will be introduced to ensure the accurate filing and verification of all required import documentation, maintaining the transparency and efficiency of the customs clearance process.