Revenue Board seeks to bring stevedores into sales tax net

ISLAMABAD (February 21 2004): To bring 'stevedoring' services into the sales tax net, the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) has approached port authorities of Karachi to ascertain whether container terminal operators are registered as 'stevedores' or not.

The CBR has sought the viewpoint of Karachi Port Trust (KPT); Director General Port and Shipping, Karachi, and Port Qasim Authority, Karachi, pertaining to applicability of sales tax on services provided by 'stevedores' under the provincial sales tax ordinance 2000.

Sources said here on Friday that a question has been raised by certain container terminal operators including Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT), Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) and Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) and FOTCO and Angro Vopac regarding chargeability of sales tax on services provided by them as 'Stevedores', who are liable to sales tax under Sindh Sales Tax Ordinance 2000.

The CBR opined that although the term 'Stevedoring' (PCT heading 9805.2000 of the Central Excise Tariff) is neither defined in the Sales Tax Act, 1990 nor in the Sindh Sales Tax Ordinance 2000, yet it is categorised under the services provided or rendered by persons authorised to do business on behalf of others.

At present, only QICT is registered as 'stevedore' for sales tax purposes, while the others contended that they have assigned/outsourced this function to others, the CBR said.

The CBR said that since the port authorities issue licences for stevedoring, they should intimate whether terminal operators have been licensed as stevedores or not. If not, they should provide the names of persons/enterprises licensed as 'stevedores' and providing/rendering such services on behalf of others.

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