Business community’s grievances with customs preventive, anti-smuggling should be addressed

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Business community’s grievances with customs preventive, anti-smuggling should be addressed

Karachi, MAY 22 /DNA/ – Atif Ikram Sheikh, President FPCCI, has apprised that the business, industry and trade community of Pakistan have grievances with the malpractices in preventive and anti-smuggling functions of the customs departments. He emphasized that situation can be much improved; if the human interaction is minimized in anti-smuggling function. There are reports on a daily basis wherein the anti-smuggling staff stops the consignments unnecessarily on their way to up country on the pretext of rechecking the containers and their contents again, he added.

Mr. Saquib Fayyaz Magoon, SVP FPCCI, said that the complaints that customs staff stops consignments which are already assessed and examined by the appraisement staff against GDs; which are also duly duty paid. Therefore, rechecking of these assessed consignments has no grounds but however, if there is any solid information or intelligence then such checking may be carried out by a responsible officer of ASO; who should be not less than the rank of an Assistant Collector.

Mr. Magoon demanded that the there is a glaring need to review and update the relevant laws and regulations; and, the role of clearing agents may be defined clearly. For this purpose, FPCCI’s committee on customs enforcement will extend its full support from platform of the apex body.

Mr. Asif Sakhi, VP FPCCI, stressed that it is repeatedly pointed out that the FIRs lodged in these matters by the customs unfairly hold the clearing agents equally responsible for the crime – if any – along with the importer. However, the position is that the job of the clearing agent is restricted to file the GD on his license against the relevant import documents forwarded by the importer i.e. invoice, packing list, B/L, etc. In these circumstances there is no role of the clearing agent if any contravention or violation of import policy or valuation is committed by the importer, he added.

Mr. Arshad Jamal, Convener of FPCCI’s Central Standing Committee on Customs Enforcement, highlighted that when the goods are stopped on the roads by the customs and cleared accordingly on the expense of importer; such as container rent and rent of the vehicle etc., then why not the relevant officials of the customs are held responsible for taking action on wrong information or reason.