Customs Rules tightened for International Transshipment

Customs Rules tightened for International Transshipment

ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has tightened the monitoring of international transshipment of imported cargo from gateway port to a foreign port.

The FBR issued SRO 03(I)/2021 to amend Customs Rules, 2001.

The FBR amend Rule 510A regarding transshipment of imported cargo from gateway port to a foreign port and made it mandatory the weight, seal number and container number for  international transshipment cargo.

The following procedure has been prescribed for the movement of the International Transshipment cargo other than LCL cargo through any sea port in Pakistan, which shall be distinctly manifested as such in the IGM or carrier declaration uploaded electronically in the Customs Computerized System by the shipping line (VOCCs/NVOCCs) having valid shipping agent licenses. Such manifest shall necessarily include the following information, namely:

(a) Port of loading;

(b) Via port (name of the transshipment port of Pakistan);

(c) Port of destination (final port of discharge at foreign destination);

(d) Bill of lading (B/L) No.;

(e) Name of foreign exporter;

(f) Name of foreign importer;

(g) Weight;

(h) Seal No.; and

(i) Container No.

The FBR made amendment to rule 510B and stated that the Terminal Operator (TO) after unloading shall store International Transshipment containers at a place earmarked for them in the notified premises of a seaport. Further, a complete trail of IT containers including the time, location where they are placed and subsequent movements shall be electronically reported and updated in the Customs Computerized System by the Terminal Operator so that the location of the said containers is traceable at any given point in time.

Further, the terminal operator shall deploy enough manpower to verify the shipper seals against the manifested seals and in case, a container is found without seal or with a different seal or any broken seal, such container shall be re-sealed and immediately released with the Customs seal in the presence of the custodian and same shall be recorded. The new seal number will be entered into the system before stacking of the container.

Rule 510D regarding delay in clearance of transshipment goods has been substituted. Following is the text of the substituted rule:

(1) The International Transshipment goods shall not be subject to payment of import or export duties and taxes provided the activities are in conformity with these rules.

(2) If the goods stores for transshipment are not transshipment within thirty days of their arrival, a notice shall be sent to the shipping line or its agent on the address given in the shipping documents for transshipment of goods from the port. An extension of up to thirty days may be granted for the storage of such goods once a written request mentioning the reasons for delay in removal of goods in submitted to the concerned assistant collector of customs and such a request is approved by him.

(3) If goods still remain on the port after sixty days of their arrival, the shipping line shall be responsible to remove them immediately unless the delay is attributed to the port authorities. The goods shall only be allowed for auction or destruction by approval of the concerned collector of customs who shall only allow in extraordinary conditions where the shipping line shows its complete inability to ship them out. The said reasons shall be recorded in writing.

(4) In case of any hazardous material left at the port, the concerned shipping line shall have the responsibility to take the cargo back to the port of origin.

The Rule 510E has also be amended and substituted the following text:

“Execution of bond by shipping line: Shipping lines engaged in the business of international transshipment of containers and bulk cargo shall execute an indemnity bond for ensuring to follow customs rules and regulations.”

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