LAHORE: Customs Collector Jamil Nasir Khan has asked State Bank of Pakistan to accord waiver from requirement of Electronic Import Form (EIF) on one-time basis in respect of consignments, which have already been adjudicated by the Adjudication authorities.
According to a letter addressed to director of SBP Foreign Exchange Operations Department, the collector said that the SBP mandated provision of EIF through its notification No FE 1/2016-SB dated July 26, 2016 before filing of GD in WeBOC system. Later on, SBP stopped foreign exchange payments against open account for commercial importers through its Circular Nos 6 and 7 of 2018 dated 14-07-2017 and 20-107-2018 respectively.
In wake of aforementioned change, commercial banks stopped issuing EIF to commercial importers. Consequently, a number of consignments arrived into Pakistan where payment had been made thorough open account but where commercial banks refused to issue EIF to importers, he said.
Jamil Nasir said that WeBOC system does not require EIF where assessable value of goods is less than US$500/- or where the weight of consignment is less than 100kg or where exemption under Chapter 99 of Pakistan Customs Tariff has been claimed. A number of importers filed GDs by claiming inadmissible exemption of PCT heading 9910 or by mis-declaring the value of goods less than US$500/- in order to bypass WeBOC system check for EIF. Contraventions were framed in offending GDs without EIF under Section 16 and 32 of the Customs Act, 1969. The Adjudicating authority has disposed of these contraventions, saying, “The respondent is willing to pay duty/taxes on the impugned goods. Therefore, the charges levelled in the show cause notice stand established against the respondent. Keeping in view the above, in exercise of powers conferred upon me under Section 179 of the Customs Act, 1969, I therefore, order for confiscation of the goods. However, taking a lenient view, I order for release of confiscated goods to its lawful owner against 35% redemption fine in terms of SRO 499(I)/2009 after fulfilment of all legal formalities”.
He continued that offending goods have been allowed conditional release after imposition of redemption fine under SRO 499(I)/2009 for charges under Section 32 of the Customs Act, 1969 and after fulfilment of legal formalities i.e. provision of EIF. Since imposition of EIF is through legal framework of SBP, and since aforementioned notifications of SBP are silent about adjudication of such offences, requirement of EIF remains. Importers are of the view that commercial banks are still not issuing EIF for adjudicated consignments, he added.
The collector said that in view of position stated above, its proposed that SBP may like to accord waiver from requirement of EIF on one-time basis in respect of consignments, which have already been adjudicated by the Adjudication authorities.