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New system to verify extra airfreight paid by foreign suppliers

ISLAMABAD (June 13 2003) : To adopt uniform procedure for assessment of imported consignments, the government has drafted new methodology to ascertain extra airfreight paid by the foreign suppliers in sending the consignments by air instead of sea.

The customs at all the international airports would now be required to check contract, invoices and other relevant import documents to figure out the actual airfreight to meet the contractual obligation for sending consignment by air instead by sea.

Sources told Business Recorder here on Thursday that the price actually paid or payable was the total payment made or to be made by the buyer to or for the benefit of the seller for the imported goods under existing law.

There are cases where a Pakistani buyer entered into the contract with the foreign sellers to import certain goods on the basis of cost and freight (C&F) value by sea, but the consignment arrived in Pakistan by air.

The extra airfreight amount does not go from the pocket of the buyer, but is spent by the seller to meet his contractual obligation.

It, therefore, appears that the extra airfreight under reference is not a part of the dutiable value of the goods.

It has come to the notice of the board that such cases are given different treatment at different airports in Pakistan.

In order to maintain uniformity in assessment at all the stations and to adopt correct measures for adding or ignoring the airfreight actually paid by the suppliers, the appropriate officers at various airports or assistant collectors, deputy collectors should thoroughly examine the documents.

The documents to be examined included the contract containing all conditions agreed upon between the importer and supplier on the basis of which the letter of credit was established.

The invoice in such cases must bear certificate from the supplier that extra freight has been borne by the supplier to meet the contractual obligation and would not be charged from the importers of any time or any shape.

In case the documents are found false at any stage, the importer would be liable to penal action for violation of Section 32 of the Customs Act 1969.

In cases of imports made against importer's own foreign exchange, ie other than banking channels without establishing letter of credits, actual freight whatsoever would form the part of the dutiable value of the imported goods.

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