MULTAN: Importers of South Punjab especially Multan region are facing delay in the clearance of their import consignments at Port Qasim.
According to details, import shipments coming for clearance are facing delay in their import clearances due to multiple reasons. Local importer and Director Saim Mobeen of M/s S.M Foods Company told Customs Today that importers are continuously facing delay in the clearance of their import consignments.
He told that poor automation system and lack of infrastructure including road network from Port Qasim to Multan also causes delay in the import clearances. He said that importers and exporters should enhance their coordination to make their clearance faster by providing necessary documents on time. The overcrowding of import shipments also causes delay in the clearance of their import containers.
Multan based importers are paying high fares and handling charges for the clearance of their import consignments and they are reaching to their destination late after payment of high freight charges.
Another importer Hammad Sohail told that imports from China are stuck at various ports due to tax exemption issue. He said that SRO was applicable from July 1, 2017 and it was already July 7 but the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) had not been able to modify the system as the importers are waiting for incorporating of a statutory order into the web-based customs clearing system (WeBOC).
It is important to mention here that government has amended SRO 573(I)/2017 amended an earlier notification SRO 497 thereby reducing the duty impact on imports from China by 2.5 percent to 37.5 percent. Since the said SRO has not been uploaded into the WeBOC system, importers can not avail the benefit of this exemption and hundreds of import consignments were in line and they were still waiting for the system up-gradation to avail tax exemption.
President Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) Khawaja Jalaluddin Roomi told that MCCI received regular complaints against unnecessary delay in the clearance process of their import and we raise these issues with relevant authorities repeatedly but it does not bother them. Government needs to develop and upgrade their automated system for the facilitation of importers for timely clearance of their import and export consignments..
Multan Dry Port Trust Manager Sabir Shah told that there are technical issues normally when server links down in the PRAL and Web based Customs at the time of handling shipments.