Customs official praised for efforts to alleviate traders’ concerns

Staff Reporter BOL News

07th Oct, 2021. 10:14 am

FPCCI accuses tax authorities

KARACHI: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) president Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo has welcomed the visit of Abdul Qadir Memon, chief collector Customs Enforcement and Compliance to the FPCCI head office and commended his efforts aimed at alleviating concerns of trade and industry.

Hanif Lakhany, vice president of the FPCCI, said that the export-oriented industries are looking towards the Customs Department for more facilitation at sea and airports, as it has the most important role at the final stage of shipment to overseas customers to achieve noticeable growth in exports.

Customs is doing their best effort; but improvement is still needed like, 24/7 airport Customs and more use of IT applications, adequate staffing and arrangements with terminal operators on airports.

The airports have become as pivotal in shipments as seaports in the post-pandemic era; and, regionally and globally the competitors are benefitting from 24/7 Customs and shipment facilities on airports, he added.

Shabbir Mansha Churra, convener of the FPCCI’s Standing Committee on Customs, said that globally the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and traders have been given support packages to ward off adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic; but in Pakistan, these are being subject to even more hardships through various Customs and tax notices and inquiries.

He said the traders have to go through unnecessary and multiple check-posts; even after getting cleared at ports and borders. He also informed the high-ranking Customs officials about the letters the FPCCI has received from airport terminal operators that they are willing and ready expand the operating hours and the Customs officials should look into it.

Churra also said that WeBOC needs to be more effective and lesser containers should be opened for physical examinations.

Memon said that currently 80 per cent containers are being cleared by WeBOC through scanners and only, 20 per cent are cleared manually and only eight per cent are opened for physical inspection.

The Customs Department is aiming at enhancing this rate of digital and automated clearance through WeBOC to 90 per cent within a span of next one year.

The chief collector also announced that he has directed the Customs check-posts in upcountry to do away with the practice of stopping shipping containers for inspections; except, when there is an intelligence-based input of some wrongdoing.

The FPCCI is looking forward to host the chief collector of Customs again in the coming weeks to raise the remaining issues, create awareness and have a follow-up on the progress made on the promised facilitative steps to the business community.

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