KARACHI: Additional Collector MCC Port Qasim Muhammad Ismail issued an Order in Original (ONO) in favour of the Customs Department and ordered to seize a consigned of banned grey fabrics imported from India by M/s Hanif Traders, showing its origin as China.
As per details, M/s Hanif Traders imported a consignment of ‘polyester unfinished fabric’ under PCT heading 5407.5100 and filed a good declaration KPPI-HC-22827-13-10-2016 showing its origin from China.
As per examination report, the imported goods in this instance were ‘polyester unfinished fabric/undyed fabric packed in bales net weight 14750kgs’ whereby the origin of goods had not been shown. Since the claimed ‘grey fabric’ had purportedly been imported from UAE, therefore the assessing officer called for Certificate of Origin to eliminate the chances that the goods were not imported from India, which is banned for import under IPO 2016.
In response the importer scanned the Certificate of Origin said to have been issued by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, China as well as UAE authorities showing the Import Origin as China. However, the Chinese Certificate of Origin so provided did not mention the details of Manufacturer in China as required in terms of Public Notice 08/2007 (A) dated 12-03-2007.
Accordingly, the imported was asked to provide documents of manufacturer issued in favour of the UAE base shipper, as well, duly authenticated by government authorities of the country of origin and also containing the details of the shipping documents connecting declared origin with the final destination. The importer however failed to provide the certificate from the manufacturer of China and detail of shipping documents.
From the above scenario, the departmental suspicion was vehemently supported and confirmed, in that, the said goods were in fact of banned ‘Indian origin’ and were not of ‘Chinese origin’ as declared. It was thus evident that the said importer imported goods of banned ‘Indian origin’ wrongfully declaring as Chinese origin and thus committed the offense of mis-declaration through concocted documents.
M/s Hanif Traders was issued show cause notice and importer’s legal consultant submitted the reply.
After hearing the arguments from both sides the Additional collector said, “The learned representative of the imported referred to the certificate of origin issued by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. At the bottom was a declaration of Chinese exporter that ‘all the goods were produced in China’. The representative could not provide any Master Bill of Lading or other documents to prove that goods were shipped from China by supplier to his buyer in UAE. The representative of the importer was asked to provide any details of payments made through banking channel but he candidly disclosed that payments were made through hawala/hundi. The importer’s representative did not provide any contract with the supplier or any LC of the scheduled bank.”
The Additional collector said, “On the other hand, Departmental representatives reiterated that public notice 08/2007 clearly mentions that importers importing grey fabric from free ports are bound to provide certificate of manufacturer in accordance with paragraph 2(h) of Import Policy Order. Certificate of origin submitted by the importer was not verified online.”
The Additional collector said “I am of the considered opinion that the Certificate of Origin submitted by the importer is not an authenticated certificate as it has not been issued by the manufacturer. The only document which can prove the origin of goods is the Master Bill of Lading which is issued at China by the shipping company and such bill of lading was concealed by the importer and did not consider the importance of the shipping documents like Master B/L to prove the journey of Chinese Origin goods to Pakistan via UAE.”
“Therefore, this so-called certificate of origin issued by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade is not substitute of certificate from manufacturer and cannot be treated as evidence to prove that those particular goods are of Chinese origin as there is no identification like batch No or any serial No or marks and No of the identification as grey fabrics worth billions is imported from China and similarly the grey fabrics from India which is otherwise included in Appendix-G finds its way into Pakistan. Keeping in view the recent past hundreds of containers of the grey fabrics shipped from Indian ports were brought to Pakistan from India in violation of the IPO through Switching Bill of Lading at Dubai. Therefore the goods are ordered to be seized under clause (9) of the section 156(1) of the Customs Act 1969.”