ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has not traced any pilferage of Indian tea in Pakistan which is meant for transit to Afghanistan, sources said.
There has been a consistent import trend in terms of quantity as average quantity imported in a month during FY 2016-17 is around 41 MT/month, and for the first eight months (July-Feb) of FY 2017-18, the same is recorded as 40 MT/month; registering a marginal decrease, they said.
“All consignments of Indian origin tea imported for onward transit to Afghanistan have crossed into Afghanistan and duly acknowledged by Afghan customs online,” official sources at the Pakistan Customs told Customs Today.
The source said that valuation of imported tea for home consumption consignments was based on evidential prices determined by customs authorities in consultation with tea associations and market surveys.
“At present, black tea is being assessed in the range between $1.75/kg and $2.75/kg depending on quality and origin of import; and green tea is being valued in the range $between 1.2/kg and $1.5/kg. The incidence of duty/taxes per container carrying tea, on average, on the basis of these values may hover around Rs 1.5 to 3 million considering quantity, quality and origin of import,” the sources added.
The sources further added that the tea consignments destined for Afghanistan were also assessed for duty/ taxes against same values as stated above and leviable duty/taxes are secured through an insurance guarantee furnished by the Afghan importer. The customs authorities release the secured guarantee once the transit process is completed i.e. on confirmation from Afghan customs that goods are duly crossed over the border.
“The data analysis and measures in place preclude any pilferage/smuggling or short assessment of Indian origin tea imported for onward transit to Afghanistan. A robust mechanism is, however, in place for online monitoring of transit goods, including tea, to Afghanistan. Consignments carrying transit goods are being trekked and monitored en-route live using a trekking device mounted on every vehicle and container through a system based in Customs House Karachi,” the sources maintained.
Moreover, the sources said that customs authorities immediately detected and responded to any irregularity observed during inland transportation of transit goods. Therefore, chances of pilferage of transit goods en-route are almost nil. Moreover, a random selectivity criterion for Afghan goods is under consideration, for development, implementation and introduction of a robust and automated risk management system.