KARACHI: The illegal movement of essential commodities has been included in the definition of smuggling through Finance Act, 2022.
According PwC A. F. Ferguson, the concept of essential commodities is proposed to be introduced defining the term as those items availability of which is considered vital for domestic use of consumption, as notified by the FBR from time to time in consultation with the ministries concerned. Following amendments to the Act are proposed in relation to the items notified as essential goods.
The essential commodities are proposed to be included in the definition of smuggled goods. This would mean that bringing into or taking out of the essential commodities in breach of any prohibition or restriction for the time being in force would render it as a smuggling; hence subject to penal actions prescribed under the Act for smuggled goods.
Bordering and coastal areas are proposed to be defined as all districts located along international borders including coastal areas of Pakistan, notified as such by Provincial Governments.
In the case of essential commodities, powers of appropriate officer to stop and search the conveyance carrying smuggled goods are proposed to be restricted to the bordering and coastal areas only.
In case of seizure of essential commodities, such seized goods shall be deposited in the nearest custom-house or the nearest place appointed by the Collector of Customs.