KARACHI: Any misdeclaration or false declaration of baggage carrying by passengers or crew members shall be treated as smuggled goods and penalties will be applicable related to smuggled goods.
According to Tax Laws (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2019 through which amendments have been introduced to Customs Act, 1969.
As per interpretation of PwC A F Ferguson Chartered Accountants recovery or seizure of any baggage and any article contained therein, of the passenger or of any crew member, subsequent to false declaration or failure to declare shall be treated at par with ‘smuggled’ goods’.
The above penalties are also made applicable to ‘owner’ of baggage who fails to declare or makes false declaration with respect to such baggage or articles carried by him or refuses to answer the question by appropriate officer or fails to produce baggage or articles for examination, in case goods carried by him include currency, gold, silver, platinum or precious stones in any form.
Previously, such owner of baggage was liable to penalty not exceeding three times the value of goods along with confiscation of same, in respect of all kind of goods, the penal provisions are now relevant only in case of goods other than currency, gold, silver, platinum or precious stones in any form.
Changes are being proposed in section 156 to penalize persons carrying foreign currency.
Previously, a person carrying foreign currency beyond the permissible amount of $10000 was being prosecuted.
It is now being proposed by means of varying slabs being taken by passengers, ranging from $10000- $200000 and above and accordingly proposing varying degrees of penalties from a mere fine and then imprisonment upto fourteen years depending on the amount of currency apprehended by the authorities.
Similarly, slabs for smuggling of Gold, platinum and Silver has been proposed along with their varying degrees of fine and imprisonment depending on the quantum of precious metals.