KARACHI: A number of orders/ judgments passed by Custom Appellate Tribunal (CAT), Karachi benches are beyond jurisdiction causing huge losses to the federal revenue, says lawyers practicing on Custom side.

Citing an example, a lawyer said that CAT issued directions to the Nazir of High Court of Sindh to release securities. The CAT cannot issue directions to the Nazir of Sindh High Court as Nazir is under administrative control of Sindh High Court while Tribunal is under Federal Government.

The CAT in another case set aside Valuation Ruling and directed the Clearance Collectorate to  assess the imported goods under Section 25 (1) of the Customs Act 1969 which was illegal as it pertains to goods imported against LC’s. another lawyer said.

In some cases, an importer of identical goods who was not party to a particular proceedings before Customs went into an appeal while CAT entertained and decided the case which is again questionable, said another lawyer.

The CAT has also entertained appeals which are time barred, said a lawyer coming up with a list of cases in which importer allegedly got undue favor from CAT benches at Karachi.

As per available data during July 2023 to December 2023, CAT sat aside dozens of Valuation Rulings “to the extent of Appellants”. The beneficiaries are importers of Tyres and Tubes, Polyester Filament Yarn, Metallic Yarn, Iron  or Non Alloy Steel Wire Rods, Silicon Electrical Sheets, Motorcycle Parts, Old & Used Auto parts Skimmed Milk Powder, Menthol Crystals, body spray, Aerosol spray paints, Baby Diapers & Sanitary  Towels, Ball Bearings, Ceramic & Porcelain Tiles, Calcium Carbide, Tooth Brushes, Ladies Hand Bags. In all these cases VR was set aside and custom authorities were directed to assess GDs on “declared transactional values”.

The Directorate of Customs has filed Special Custom Reference Application against most of these decisions under the guidance of Director General, Valuation Muhammad Saleem and Director Fayyaz Rasool. Both these highest performing officers of Pakistan Customs are vigorously following the SCRA’s filed by the Valuation department.