KARACHI: Customs Appellate Tribunal has ordered recovery of Rs491.29 million from M/s Nestle Pakistan, which the multi-national company had evaded through mis-declaration of PCT heading of the imported goods.

Information was passed through DG I&I Faiz Ahmed to Director I&I Karachi Engr. Habib that M/s Nestle Pakistan through their agents M/s Aas Enterprises and M/s Akram Associates are involved in evasion of duty and taxes through mis-declaration of PCT heading of stabilizer emulsifier imported from M/s Dupont Nutrition Biosciences Denmark.

A consignment of M/s Nestle declared to contain Recodan RS VEG emulsifier and stabilizer system was cleared under PCT 3101.2022 through green channel.

On the directives of Additional Director Afzal Wattoo, Deputy Director Abeer Javed blocked the consignment at the stage of gate out. Consignment was examined and it was found the importer M/s Nestle Pakistan mis-declared PCT as 3101.2022 instead of correct PCT 3824.9999.

The total evasion due to deliberate mis-declaration by importer M/s Nestle Pakistan in connivance of clearing agents M/s Aas Enterprises and M/s Akram Associates comes to Rs491.29 million.

Tribunal established that short-paid duty and taxes are recoverable from the importers. However, deliberate mis-declaration could not be established therefore fine and penalty is not warranted.

Nestle is a multi-national company and has often come under criticism for the lower quality of products in Pakistan compared with other countries as well as over-profiteering.

Earlier, Customs Adjudication had established evasion on part of the importer and ordered recovery of the evaded amount. M/s Nestle approached Tribunal and the Tribunal refereed the case to Classification Committee. After which, the mis-declaration was established by the Tribunal.