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FBR Empowers Customs Collectors to Block Import Consignments

ISLAMABAD (February 29 2008): The collectors of customs have been empowered to block import consignments where the businessman is unable to clear tax arrears. Sources told reporter on Thursday that the FBR has issued instructions to Collectors of Customs (Appraisement) not to clear containers of importers who failed to submit pending dues (taxes/duties).

According to the instructions, the collectors shall put in place an electronic system to monitor details of the transshipment carrier manifest. They would also be empowered to block imports on country basis, when it become necessary for recovery of arrears, directive added.

Sources said that the monitoring of consignments has improved revenue collection in case of good import. The 'transit pass' is required for transshipment of containers from Karachi to upcountry dry ports. These permits could be issued in cases where the importers were declared defaulters. The collectors could ever block these consignments.

Under the proposed electronic system, the consignments might be checked in cases where detailed probe of importer's tax record is required as far as transactions are concerned.

It is worth mentioning that the board wanted to implement Risk Management System (RMS) at Collectorate of Customs (Appraisement), Karachi to scan Goods Declarations (GDs) filed for detecting evasion of duties/taxes on the import of goods under the Customs Administrative Reforms Project (Care).

Sources said that the risk parameters to check the imported consignments included 'lists of trusted importers, harmonised commodity (HS) codes of very high, medium and low risk imported goods. The risk parameters have been chalked out on the basis of recommendations made by the Collectorate, Appraisement.

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