Customs agents take measures for trade facilitation amid coronavirus lockdown

KARACHI: Karachi Customs Agents Association (KCAA) has taken various measures to facilitate trade during ongoing lockdown related to prevent spread of coronavirus.

The managing committee of the KCAA has taken several measures for the redressal of grievances being faced by the members.

KCAA delegation headed by President Yahya Muhammad alongwith General Secretary Muhammad Aamir & Joint Secretary Zahid Bashir Chaudhary a meeting with the Commissioner Karachi and discussed the ongoing situation and business transactions pertaining to clearance of import and export consignments during the lockdown period.

The commissioner of Karachi has assured the KCAA members of all possible considerations to provide maximum facilitations.

A delegation of KCAA also held discussion with the Chief Collector South (Enforcement) and requested to allow access of customs agents, wherein it was directed by the Chief Collector to avoid unnecessary interaction and also assured that all Customs Officers /Officials are performing their work in their respective jurisdictions through e-based online system.

However, in case of most important work the representatives of customs agents can approach the customs officers along with their identity cards issued by the KCAA / Customs / KPT authorities for physical appearance. In this regard a detailed circular has been issued by the Preventive Collectorate.

KCAA requested the higher authorities of FBR and Pakistan Customs i.e. The Member Customs (Policy) and Chief Collector South (Appraisement) & (Enforcement) that in view of the foregoing situation, it would be near impossible for traders/custom agents to submit Duty / Taxes on time hence it was requested to the member customs to exercise the power under Section 224 of the Custom Act 1969 for extension of time limit and condone the fine/Penalty for delay in late filing of Goods Declaration up to 30 days instead of 10 days, imposed under clause 47.A of Section 156 of the Custom Act 1969 as a gesture to support & facilitate the trade.

KCAA requested the Member Customs (Policy) FBR and higher authorities of Pakistan Customs to issue necessary directions to the Ports / Terminals as well as Shipping Companies for the waiver of Port Demurrage & Container Rents by the Shipping Companies for the at-least 30 days.

It may please be noted that 2nd Review will be entertained by the concerned AC/DC on telephone, hence members are requested to contact their respective AC/DC over the telephone for 2nd review. However, in case of any issue pertaining to reviews by the concerned AC/DC members are advised to contact any Office Bearers of KCAA in order to resolve their problems.

KCAA has proposed to the customs that since the WeBOC system is working online but hard copy of FTA certificate needs to be submitted over the counter for verification in this regard members are advised to submit scanned FTA and On-Line Verification while filing the goods declaration, so that it may be processed without visiting custom house FTA COUNTERS.

KCAA is in liaison with the Shipping lines. In this regard Maersk Pakistan have already deputed their staff at Port Qasim, whereas the other lines included Cosco Saeed, UMA & OOCL are also in coordination with KCAA in respect of submission of documents and issuance of delivery orders.

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