ISLAMABAD: The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) Islamabad asked the Collector MCC Islamabad to release the front cabin half-cut HTVs and LTVs and cars with or without chassis numbers for which Master Bills of lading were issued up to january 15, 2017.
A complaint has been filed under Section 10(1) of the Federal Tax Ombudsmen (FTO) Ordinance 2000 against the Collector Model Customs Collectorate Islamabad for failing to release the consignments of old and used parts despite the deposit of due duties and taxes in the government exchequer after the completion of legal and procedural formalities.
The sources told CT that the complaint was sent to the Secretary Revenue Division and the Collector of Customs MCC Islamabad for comments as required under Section 10(4) of the FTO Ordinance. The Collector concluded that the impounded consignments may be ordered to be released forthwith in the judgment referred to above and as per law.
It was also told that the department’s representative of the MCC Islamabad admitted that the summary of adjudication proceedings were finalized in the SRO and a confusion arose on a representative of the president of old and used auto parts importers association Rawalpindi. The matter was referred to the Federal Board of Revenue on 11-07-2017 for seeking guidance from the FBR is still awaited.
Viewpoint of both sides have been examined along with the relevant record of SRO 563 (1)2017 dated 01.07.2017. Amended SRO 499(1)2009 dated 13.06.2009 is applicable from the date of its issuance and not retrospectively furthers the FBR vide amendment dated 08.8.2017. It also modified rules 592& 593 of the Customs Rules 2001. The operative part of the amendment is as “front cabin half-cut HTV/LTV/cars with or without chassis numbers for which Master Bills of lading were issued up to July 15, 2017”. The foregoing amendment would be applicable in respect of the Master Bills of lading which were issued up to July 15, 2017 therefore it would not be applicable on such consignments imported prior to 01.07.2017 and, especially those wherein process of summary adjudication had also been completed and duties and taxes were deposited by the importers. Therefore impounding of such consignment on the pretext of non-receipt of any clarification from the FBR amounts to maladministration.
Such consignments are held at the port since 01.07.2017 and apart from congestion at port area, the importers are suffering due to non-release of their duty paid consignments. The matter should be decided by the Collector much earlier after obtaining the clarification from the FBR and in the light of the judgment of the superior courts in this regard.
The FTO finds that inordinate delay on the part of the Department in release of duty and taxes consignments imported by the complainant prior to 01.07.2017 despite Lahore High Court judgment in W.P No 55114/2017 is tantamount to maladministration under Section 2(3) (a) of the FTO Ordinance. The FTO ordered the FBR to direct the Collector of Customs to immediately release the impugned consignments of the complainant as per law and also report the compliance with 45 days.