KARACHI: Sharjeel Jamal, the Convener of the FPCCI Committee on Trade Laws and Regulations, has urged for the immediate rationalization of the Electronic Import Forms (EIF) module, aligning it with the directives issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
Talking to Customnews.pk, Jamal highlighted that the apex court had specifically ordered the Customs authorities to exercise independent decision-making authority regarding the EIF requirement for trade. However, he expressed concern over the unnecessary attachment of the EIF module with Section 79 of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). According to Jamal, the SBP solely monitors financial transactions and should not be involved in Customs clearance matters. He argued that this linkage is causing irreparable losses to the country’s trade sector.
The Convener of the FPCCI committee further criticized the development of the EIF module, as well as other provisions in the WeBOC system, citing the involvement of inexperienced and incompetent individuals who made illogical amendments. These amendments have reportedly disrupted the entire business process in Pakistan. Jamal emphasized that these modules were introduced without the input of stakeholders, and no user acceptance committee was formed prior to their incorporation in the WeBOC system.
Expressing concern over the current state of affairs, Sharjeel Jamal urged the Prime Minister of Pakistan to take immediate notice of the issue and address the prevailing challenges. He emphasized the need to rationalize the trade sector, which has already suffered significant damage due to the dysfunctional EIF module.
It is worth mentioning that the issuance of Electronic Import Forms by commercial banks has been temporarily suspended, leading to delays in the clearance of imported consignments. This issue has added to the mounting difficulties faced by traders and businesses in Pakistan.
The call for the rationalization of the EIF module by the FPCCI Committee on Trade Law and Regulations is expected to gain traction, as stakeholders seek to address the adverse impact on the country’s trade and implement internationally recognized best practices in the Customs clearance system.