Member Customs Promises to Consider Abolishment of Documents in Containers: Irfan Iqbal Sheikh

Karachi (PR): Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh, President FPCCI, has raised the collective concerns of the business, industry and trade community of Pakistan with member customs in a large gathering at the Federation House. He outlined the top most issues vis-à-vis customs as: (i) he identified delayed and obsolete customs valuations as the biggest issue at the moment as it has been delayed for over 2 years now; whereas, it used to be done every 3 months or so in the past (ii) the introduction of authorized economic operator (AEO) is being carried out in an inefficiently slow-paced manner; which is making it ineffective (iii) Pakistan Single Window (PSW), though a good initiative; but, facing delays in its full-scale awareness &implementation (iv) trucks & consignments are unnecessarily stopped again by anti-smuggling during inter-city transit; despite being already customs-paid.

Mian Anjum Nisar, former President FPCCI, highlighted that customs should act as the facilitator of exports; and, any issues, anomalies & complaints should be resolved swiftly. He added that a high-powered liaison committee may be formed with the customs from the platform of FPCCI – which is the apex body; representing 250 chambers, trade bodies and associations from across length & breadth of the country

Mr. Shabbir Mansha, VP FPCCI, demanded the abolishment of the requirement of pasting the shipping documents inside shipment containers; as it is not an international best practice. It is creating a lot of delays and losses as well, he added.

Mr. Saqib Fayyaz Maggo, former VP FPCCI, said that the customs need to create awareness of its various initiatives; make the initiatives like WeBOC & PSW businessman-friendly and expedite the digitalization processes. He added that blue channel needs to be streamlined on the basis of feedback and experiences of the stakeholders.

Mr. Mukarram Jah Ansari, Member Customs, agreed to many demands of FPCCI; and, announced several remedial measures on the spot: (i) abolishment of upfront payment of duties & taxes is in process (ii) implementation of modules for export facilitation scheme in WeBOC within 15 days (iii) conducting examination of provisional license holders (iv) acceptance of defense saving certificates as security (v) any unnecessary anti-smuggling checking will be stopped immediately (vi) abolishment of the condition for pasting shipping documents inside shipment containers is under consideration and customs are aware of apprehensions of the stakeholders.

Additionally, he maintained that, 450 customs valuations are pending and it is not possible to carry out all the valuations in three months; but, they will be completed at the earliest and some obsolete valuations will be deleted as well. He also encouraged business community to come forward and make AEO program a success; as it will reduce the cost of doing business & improve ease of doing business.

Brig Iftikhar Opel, SI (M), Retd.

Secretary General