KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday issued guidelines for e-commerce exporters in order to promote such exports from Pakistan.
The SBP said that in order to promote Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-Commerce exports from Pakistan, State Bank of Pakistan has reviewed the aforementioned instructions to align these with the changing business dynamics of e-commerce exports.
For this purpose, a separate Module to implement e-commerce exports has also been developed in WeBOC in collaboration with Pakistan Customs and other relevant stakeholders.
Accordingly, a revised regulatory framework has been developed keeping in view the current business needs of e-commerce exports, which would replace the existing Para 39 Chapter 12 of FE Manual.
The revised framework is given hereunder:
Business-to-Consumer (B2C) E-Commerce Exports
(i) Forms Prescribed for Declaring E-Commerce Exports:
As per Federal Government Notification No. I(6)-ECS/48, dated the July 1, 1948, a declaration is required to be furnished by the exporter at the time of exports to the Collector of Customs that an amount representing the full export value of the goods has been or will be disposed of in a manner and within a period specified by the State Bank of Pakistan. In case of e-commerce exports, the declaration required to be furnished by the exporter shall be filed by the courier, in the prescribed format, on behalf of the exporter in the E-Commerce export module of the WeBOC. For exports other than through E-Commerce module of WeBOC, Form-E shall continue to be issued by Authorized Dealers at the request of the exporters as per the existing prescribed instructions.
(ii) Registration/ Due Diligence of the E-Commerce Exporters in WeBOC by Authorized Dealer
Authorized Dealer, upon receipt of request along with an undertaking from the exporter as per Annexure-A, shall register the exporter in the B2C E-Commerce module in WeBOC after performing the due diligence of the customer, as per applicable instructions on managing ML / FT risk.
Authorized Dealers handling the E-Commerce export related transactions are responsible to carry out customer’s Risk Profiling and its periodical monitoring to ensure that any ML/ FT risk is timely and appropriately identified and managed in accordance with the risk management policy of the authorized dealer. The ADs may add a separate section for e-Commerce in their Risk Management Policy to manage ML/ FT risk.
(iii) Shipment in WeBOC through Couriers registered by Pakistan Customs
The exporter shall submit their export consignment along with required details to any courier of their choice, registered with Pakistan Customs in WeBOC. The courier handling the export shipment shall file the Goods Declaration to Pakistan Customs on behalf of the exporter. Each individual consignment shall be identified on the basis of unique House Airway Bill (HAWB) Number as per the format prescribed by Pakistan Customs. The value of each consignment should be based on the actual price of the product as per the invoice issued to customer and must not exceed USD 5,000. The detail of export shipments shall be accessible to the Authorized Dealer in the E-Commerce profile of the exporter in WeBOC after the shipment of goods from Pakistan.
(iv) Method and Period for Realization of Export Proceeds
Full export value of goods exported from Pakistan and declared to the Customs authorities by courier companies on behalf of E-Commerce exporters, adjusted for any permissible discount as per sub-para vi below, should be received on the due date for payment or within 60 days from the date of shipment, whichever is earlier. The export proceeds should be received from abroad by an Authorized Dealer, through banking channel or international payment scheme/gateway, either in foreign currency, in which the Authorized Dealer maintains accounts, or in Pakistan Rupee from Non-Resident Rupee Account Repatriable or NRP Rupee Value Account.
(v) Monthly Reconciliation Statement of E-Commerce Exporters
Exporter shall be required to submit a monthly statement to the Authorized Dealers, in physical/electronic form, giving details of proceeds realized against the export shipments as per prescribed format given at Annexure-Balong with the relevant invoices. The Authorized Dealer will use the data provided in the format to mark the realization of outstanding export shipments in WeBOC, as per procedure given in sub-para vii below. The statement shall be submitted by the exporters within five (5) working days from the end of month to which the statement pertains. Authorized Dealer would promptly follow up with the exporter if the statement is not submitted as per prescribed timeline.
(vi) Remittance of Foreign Expenses and Retention in Exporters’ Special Foreign Currency Account
Authorized Dealers are permitted to allow payment of commission/charges/discounts/bank charges due to foreign importers/agents/financial institutions by E-Commerce exporters in Pakistan up to 10% of the invoice value of goods. In cases where the exporter is not required to pay any of the above expense or pay an amount less than above mentioned maximum permissible limit such amounts of commission/discount etc. or differential, not exceeding the 10% limit, can be retained in exporter’s foreign currency retention account with Authorized Dealers in Pakistan. The funds held in such foreign currency accounts can be used by the exporters for payment abroad on account of marketing /promotion and other services related to e-commerce exports. The account can also be used for settlement of overdue/ shortfall export proceeds, replacements etc., and other permissible purposes under the relevant regulations.
(vii) Realization against E-Commerce Export Shipments
Authorized Dealer will record proceeds realization against each HAWB in E-Commerce Bankers’ Credit Advice (BCA) module in WeBOC through the following options:
Settlement against 100% Realization.
Settlement with discount/commission etc. (up to 10%).
Settlement with Proceeds from Exporters Foreign Currency Retention Account including partial/ short realization.
Settlement against Advance Payments.
Settlement against replacement/ repaired/ faulty goods.
(viii) Handling of Overdue Cases
Authorized Dealers shall monitor the non-realization or delay in realization of export proceeds by E-Commerce exporters beyond the prescribed period of 60 days from the date of shipment of goods through WeBOC.
In case the outstanding export bills aggregating to USD 20,000/- or above are not realized within 60 days from the date of shipment (as per WeBOC data), as at the end of respective month, Authorized Dealer shall mark the exporter’s status as ‘Suspended’ in the E-Commerce module of WeBOC. This ‘Suspended’ status shall be marked by 15th of the following month after taking into account the monthly statement of proceeds realization filed by the exporter, as per Para v above. This would debar the exporter from further exports through E-Commerce module.
The status of exporter may be restored by Authorized Dealer to ‘Active’ in the WeBOC at any time during the month subject to realization of outstanding export bills, unrealized for 60 days or more from the date of shipment, provide the aggregate amount of such outstanding bills becomes less than USD 20,000/-.
In case of non-realization or delay in realization of export proceeds beyond 90 days from the date of shipment (as per WeBOC data), as of month end date, the same shall be reported as ‘overdue’ to SBP-Banking Services Corporation (Annexure C), as per guidelines prescribed in Para 33, Chapter 12 of FE Manual. However, the shipments overdue on month end and subsequently marked realized in the WeBOC, on the basis of monthly proceeds realization statement submitted by the exporter, should be excluded from such reporting.