Customs officers authorized business access for audit

KARACHI: Customs officers have been authorized under customs laws to enter business premises to access records necessary for the purpose of audit.

Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) issued Customs Act, 1969 updated up to June 30, 2019 incorporating amendments introduced through Finance Act, 2019.

The Section 26B of the Act authorizes customs officers to access record for the purpose of audit.

Section 26B: Access for the purposes of audit.-

Sub-Section (1): The appropriate officer of Customs, after giving a notice in writing specifying the date of visit, shall have access to business or manufacturing premises, registered office or any other place where any goods, stocks, documents or records relating to the ongoing audit are kept or maintained. Such officer may inspect the goods, stocks, documents, records, data, correspondence, accounts, statements, utility bills, bank statements, information regarding nature and sources of funds or assets with which his business is financed, and any other records or documents required under any Federal or Provincial laws, maintained in any form or mode. Such an officer may take into his custody such documents, records or any part thereof, in such form as he may deem fit, against a signed receipt.

Sub-Section (2): In all cases, except where it would defeat the purpose of the audit, a reasonable advance notice regarding a visit shall be given to the person concerned.

Sub-Section (3): Whosoever causes any obstruction or fails to provide any documents, record, statement etc, as required under subsection (1), with an intention to defeat the purpose of the Act by way of destroying, altering or concealing any books, documents or records required to be maintained under this Act, shall be guilty of an offence under this section.

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