TAFTAN: Customs Appraisement Taftan has uncovered a significant case of illegal imports involving iron and steel products from Iran. The goods were transported via land routes through Taftan, Gwadar, and Panjgur borders. The perpetrators misdeclared the items as re-rollable scrap (HS code 7204.4910) to evade taxes.

Collector Appraisement Quetta and Taftan, Yaseen Murtaza initiated the investigation following a letter from the Chief Collector of Customs, Balochistan, dated May 29, 2024. The letter enclosed a representation from M/s Pakistan Ship Breakers’ Association, dated May 18, 2024, seeking clarification on the matter.

Upon examination, it was revealed that no clearance for re-rollable scrap falling under PCT headings 7204.1010 and 7204.4910 had been granted at the Taftan Custom Station in the past two months. Approximately 26,000 metric tons of iron and steel products, declared as scrap, are currently held at the Border Terminal Taftan pending clearance.

A physical inspection of the cargo revealed that the majority consisted of semi-finished goods such as slabs, bars, rods, profiles, plates, and sheets. These items do not qualify as re-rollable iron and steel scrap according to the Import Policy Order of 2022.

During a meeting with importers, representatives requested permission to mutilate the cargo under section 27A of the Customs Act, 1969, along with Rule 592 of Chapter XXIV Customs Rules.

However, authorities clarified that only old and used goods found in serviceable condition (approximately 5% of the total weight) would be eligible for mutilation. The remaining cargo must be cleared based on its physical state as determined during inspection and payment of duty and taxes accordingly.

Regarding proposal of the Association for calling export GDs of these imported item to ascertain description thereof, it is stated that the same may not be required as the physical state description of the cargo can be easily ascertained through naked eyes.