PESHAWAR: The customs clearance of new and old cars has been affected after the Ministry of Commerce amended the Import Policy Order-2016 so it has become mandatory now to pay duties and taxes through foreign exchange.
The Ministry of Commerce on December 4, 2017 issued a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) and amended the policy regarding the import of new and used cars under the Transfer of Residence Scheme making it mandatory to pay duties and and taxes in foreign exchange.
The customs authorities approached the ministry apprising that the condition of duties and tax payment through bank certificate was already applicable so this status should also be applied on Transfer of Residence Scheme.
The sources at the Customs House Peshawar informed Customs Today on Friday that the government allowed this facility to expatriate nationals, who spent six months abroad, for importing one vehicle under the Transfer of Residence Scheme on verification of their passport.
The official said this facility was grossly misused and, under this head, import bill was increased significantly during the current fiscal year.
According to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the import of motorcars in Completely Built Unit (CBU) condition has registered a growth of 71 percent to $234.8million during July-November 2017 compared to $137.63million in the corresponding period of the last year.
The customs official said, after a change in the import policy order now, the person clearing motorcar was required to provide bank certificate with assurance that the amount for payment of duties and taxes was foreign inflow.
“Since the application of amended import policy, the clearance of cars is almost halted,” official said.
The customs authorities were collecting around Rs 60-70billion annually or Rs5-6billion monthly from clearance of cars.
According to customs authorities, the quantum of duties and taxes on an imported car is almost 100 percent at the declared import price.
All Pakistan Customs Clearing Agents have approached the ministry of commerce and customs authorities and apprised that, due to the amendment to the import policy order, the clearance of cars under the Transfer of Residence had almost stopped.
Due to changes, outward remittances would increase and payment would be made through local resources after sending it abroad.
They proposed that a person, who brought a vehicle which was not cleared due to various reasons, should be allowed to transfer the ownership to a car dealer for subsequent clearance.