ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued instructions to all Chief Collectors and Collectors of Customs to submit arms and ammunition data stored in the customs warehouses along with seized weapons to collect authentic information on national level.
According to the instructions to the field formations, Chief Collectors and Collectors of Customs should immediately apprise the board about arms and ammunition seizure cases with the specifications of arms and ammunition lying in the warehouses. The field formations should also take up the matter on most urgent basis. FBR also provided a performa for compilation of the said data. It included year-wise (2010-11; 2011-12; 2012-13 and 2013-14) description of arms; description of ammunition, seizure number; quality value and remarks of the collectors.
FBR has issued instructions in line with the orders of the Supreme Court. It is important to mention that the one-member Commission report on arms and ammunition revealed that the commission during the visit to the strong rooms in East Wharf-KPT observed that a number of consignments of arms and ammunition imported in 1994 and onward were still awaiting clearances on payment of duty and taxes or otherwise disposal. It was also witnessed that the wooden packing of a number of consignments of arms and ammunition imported from China dismantled reportedly during the voyage because of sea storm. Therefore, arms and ammunition of different consignments got mixed-up and was repacked by KPT authorities after unloading without any supervision of the Customs Department. No stock-taking has been done so far to ascertain whether any quantity of arms and ammunition was missing.
The import of arms and ammunition into the country is regulated by the federal government through the Import Policy Order (IPO) as amended from time to time, read with the Ministry of Commerce letter bearing F.No 2(8)/2004.RO (Imp.1/AC(Imp), dated 25.01.2005. As per the serial nos. 37-38 of Appendix-A of the IPO-2013, the import of arms and ammunition of certain bores and calibers as mentioned vide the serial nos. ibid is prohibited, such as revolvers and pistols of more than 0.46 bore, semi-automatic rifles of 7.62mm, rifles of 8mm – 9mm, etc. Conversely, the arms and ammunition of other non-prohibited bores and calibers are importable as per serial nos. 63-67 of Appendix-B of the IPO-2013. However, according to the procedure notified by the Ministry of Commerce, only authorised dealers can import the non-prohibited bore arms and ammunition on commercial basis while individual importers can bring in a limited quantity of such weapons in their personal baggage, provided the passenger declares the item to Customs on arrival at the airport of entry and holds a valid import authorisation from the Ministry of Commerce as well as a license issued by the relevant provincial Home Department, commission added.