PESHAWAR: The importers are facing delay in the customs clearance under the Web Based One Customs System on Torkham border.
Earlier, the Customs Department imposed the Web OC service in order to digitalize the customs procedures but the system came under criticism due to poor internet and electricity facilitation.
A Torkham Based importer Ahmad Nawaz informed Customs Today that my four vehicles loaded with legal goods are standing still due to failure of the Web OC Service on Torkham border and there are many people like me who are facing the same problem. He has been continuously visiting the Customs Station Torkham where he still needs proper facilitation.
Ahmad Nawaz Shinwari further said that it’s very unfair with the importers and exporters doing trade with Afghanistan because much time is wasted on the border to receive the green chit.
The importer informed CT that the Customs Department assured them of much needed facilities in order to promote the mutual trade with Afghanistan and also save their time and resources but they haven’t yet fulfilled their promises.
Earlier, the government constructed a wall along the border which also affected the trade rhythm but was accepted by importers. Now the Web OC Service hardly approves five to 10 vehicles to cross the border while the number is between 200 to 300 before the implementation of the Web OC Service on imports and exports.
The Customs Department has not only failed to provide internet and electricity but the Web OC Cell also remained empty during duty hours which have also increased the worries of importers.
When Customs Station Torkham was touched, Assistant Collector Sadaf Ali Shah informed CT that she does not know to clear the consignments without filing GD. The AC added that the importers have to mentally accept the Web OC System and Customs Department will not shut the system due to few self-made problems of the importers and exporters.
The AC said that the Web OC Service has been working smoothly and most of the GD has been filed on time besides few importers who continuously struggle to oppose the Web OC Cell and its proper implementation.
Sadaf added that work has been also in the final stages to provide international trade terminal at Torkham Customs Station which will be operated soon.