KARACHI: The Director General of Customs Valuation, Gul Rehman, has set aside the valuation ruling 1790/2023 for the category ‘E’ and ‘F’ of perfumes and colognes, after several petitioners challenged the values determined by the directorate.

The petitioners, including M/s Stanmore Enterprise represented by Aneel Zia Advocate High Court of Expert Law Associates, M/s Bonanza Garments and others, contended that the values of perfumes and colognes were on extreme higher side and were determined without proper market survey. The departmental representative (DR) was asked to justify the basis of their work regarding the market inquiry and the analysis used to derive the final values. However, the DR failed to provide any satisfactory evidence or documentation to support their valuation. The record available with the DR revealed that the market survey report was very sketchy and no cash memos, invoices, visiting cards or separate prices were recorded during the market inquiry. It was also observed that no market survey was conducted for more than 80% of items mentioned in category ‘E’ and ‘F’ of the valuation ruling.

The Director General of Customs Valuation found that the process of determination of values suffered from procedural impropriety and the arguments of the petitioners regarding defective market survey carried weight. He set aside the valuation ruling for category ‘E’ and ‘F’ only and directed the directorate to undertake a fresh exercise in terms of Section 25A of the Customs Act, 1969 by recourse to the valuation methodology elaborated in Section 25 of the Act. The revision petitions were disposed of accordingly. The valuation ruling 1790/2023 was issued on June 26, 2023 and covered various brands and types of perfumes, eau de toilette and eau de cologne. The ruling was based on web search results and other sources.

The ruling aimed to provide uniformity in customs valuation and prevent under-invoicing or over-invoicing of imported goods. However, the ruling faced criticism from some importers who claimed that it did not reflect the actual market prices of perfumes and colognes.