Commerce ministry issues clarification to ban on Indian imports

Commerce ministry issues clarification to ban on Indian imports

ISLAMABAD: The ministry of commerce has issued clarification regarding ban on imports from India and said that letter of credit (LC) or bill of lading (BL) issued prior August 09, 2019 shall be allowed for customs clearance.

The ministry of commerce issued a notification dated August 16, 2019 to clarify SROs 927(I)/2019 and 928(I)/2019 dated August 09, 2019 related to imposition of ban on bilateral trade with India.

Pakistan imposed the ban on bilateral trade with India as protest to Indian illegal constitutional change to make Occupied Kashmir its territory.

In the latest clarification the ministry of commerce said that the SROs would not affect the shipments in the pipeline for which LC or BL had been issued prior to August 09, 2019 since in terms of proviso to paragraph 4 of the Import Policy Order, 2016, “the amendments brought in this Order [Import Policy Order 2016] from time to time shall not be applicable to such imports where Bill of Lading (B/L) or Letters of Credit (L/C) were issued or established prior to the issuance of amending order.”

The ministry further clarified that the subject SROs would not affect trade under the Afghanistan – Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA), 2010.

The ministry said that concerns had been raised that suspension of bilateral trade with India might result into increase in smuggling of India goods, import of Indian origin goods by mis-declaration through third countries, and smuggling under the APTTA. “Therefore, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is requested to take necessary enforcement measures to prevent mis-declaration and smuggling.”

The ministry of commerce also recommended the FBR that an effective anti-smuggling campaign should be launched immediately against smuggled Indian goods that were available in the markets across the country.

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