KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) directed customs officials to consider the request of the petitioner for provisional release of the consignment, subject to securing the duties and taxes in the shape of pay order/bank guarantee before the concerned Collectorate, in accordance with law on a petition filed by several importers including M/s Sufiyan Steel.
While hearing the petition, a two-member bench also issued pre-admission notices to customs department and directed them to file their para-wise comments on next date of hearing.
On March 12, 2019, during the hearing, counsel for M/s Sufiyan Steel, M/s Gogan Steel and M/s Pioneer Steel argued that petitioners imported various consignments pertaining to iron and steel products of secondary quality, some of which have arrived and goods declaration filed, whereas others are en-route, till the filing of this petition.
Counsel further argued that customs officials issued a Valuation Ruling No 1213/ 2017 dated 27/09/2017 assessing such goods as imported by the petitioners, however, the ruling was challenged by various local manufacturers/importers under section 25-D of the Customs Act, 1969 on grounds that the ruling transfers the increase in discounts to freight charges, focusing on enhancement in revenue collection rather than valuation methodology under Section 25 of Customs Act, 1969.
Importers stated that petitioners had requested the respondents for releasing the goods provisionally and making the goods declaration or assess the goods of the petitioners under Section 25 of Customs Act, 1969, which was vehemently denied by the customs department.
Citing chairman Federal Board of Revenue, Customs Collecorate East and DG Valuation as respondents, petitioners pleaded the court to declare that act of the respondents as illegal, malafide and arbitrary and court may direct them to release their consignments immediately.