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FBR to form panels for customs valuation of Iranian, Afghan goods

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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to form committees for the determination of customs valuation of goods originating from Iran and Afghanistan.
In this regard, the FBR proposed amendments in the Customs Act, 1969 through SRO 1352 (I)/2021. According to the proposed amendments, the law would apply for the determination of values of goods of Afghan and Iran origin to regulate Pakistan-Afghan bilateral trade and discourage the incidence of under-invoicing and smuggling.
The law would be applicable on the Afghan and Iran origin goods, imported from Afghanistan and Iran through land routes.
“In case, if an item is being imported through sea route in significant quantities from Iran, then, the value of such items shall be determined in consultation with [the] Directorate of Valuation of Karachi.”
The FBR said the respective collector of Customs (Appraisement), on his motion, in his area of jurisdiction may determine the Customs values of any goods or category of goods imported in or exported out of Pakistan from or to Afghanistan and Iran through land Customs stations through the valuation committee constituted for the purpose: one additional collector of the collectorate (chairman of the committee); two deputy or assistant collectors of the collectorate (members of the committee); superintendents of principal appraisers or appraisers or inspectors as required; representative of respective chamber of commerce and industry; representative of Customs’ clearing agents association; All Pakistan Dry Fruits Importers and Exporters Association; and any other co-opted member as deemed appropriate by the collector.
The values so determined by the collector on the recommendations of the committee would be valid for six months.
Meanwhile, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has warned inquiry officers of disciplinary action for delaying inquiry reports.
In an official letter on Thursday, the FBR directed all inquiry officers to complete pending inquiry reports within 15 days; otherwise, disciplinary proceedings would be initiated against them.
The FBR has noted that the officers, who are assigned with inquiries and fact-finding inquiries, are delaying the submission of inquiry reports and are causing embarrassment for the board and maligning the ends of justice. Similarly, some inquiries are pending with authorized officers or authorities for decision.
The practice is bringing a bad name for the board, as well as long-time pendency creates endless agony for the accused officer. Moreover, initiation of disciplinary proceedings is interlinked with so many service aspects of the accused officers like promotions, deputations, leaves, reputation, etc.
The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has recently initiated suo moto investigation regarding pending disciplinary proceedings of the FBR and has directed the FBR to call an explanation of all inquiry officers or the inquiry committee members/authorised officers, as the case may be, and take appropriate action against them for causing inordinate delay in conclusion of inquiry proceedings.
The FBR directed all concerned to accord the highest priority to the completion of pending inquiries/finalization of decisions on pending inquiries and ensure that the same are completed/submitted within 15 days positively, otherwise disciplinary proceedings can be initiated against them on account of the negligence/dereliction of duties. – TLTP