Persons committing fiscal fraud liable to 10 years jail under Customs laws

KARACHI: A person is liable to jail punishment up to 10 years in case of committing fiscal fraud under Customs Act, 1969.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) recently updated Customs Act, 1969 under which if a person commits and offence of fiscal fraud under Section 32A of the Act then such person is liable to penalty and imprisonment.

According to the Customs Act, 1969:

If any person commits an offence under section 32A such person shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding three times the value of the goods in respect of which such offence is committed and such goods shall also be liable to confiscation and upon conviction by a Special Judge he shall further be liable to imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years but shall not be less than five years or to fine, or to both.

The act explained the fiscal fraud as:

32A. Fiscal fraud.- (1) If any person, in connection with any matter related to customs-

(a) causes to submit documents including those filed electronically, which are concocted, altered, mutilated, false, forged, tempered or counterfeit to a functionary of customs;

(b) declares in the goods declaration electronically filed customs declaration, the name and address of any exporter or importer which is physically non-existent at the given address;

(c) declares in the goods declaration electronically filed customs declaration, an untrue information regarding payment of duties and taxes through self-assessment, description, quantity, quality, origin and value of goods;
(d) alters, mutilates or suppresses any finding of the customs functionary on any document or in the computerized record; or (e) attempts, abets or connives in any action mentioned in clauses (a), (b), (c) and (d) above, he shall be guilty of an offence under this section.

(2) Where, by any reason as referred to in sub-section (1) as aforesaid, any duty or tax charged or fee or fine and penalty levied under any provision of law has not been levied or has been short levied or has been refunded, the person liable to pay any amount on that account shall be served with a notice within a period of 180 days of the date of detection of such custom duty and tax fraud, requiring him to show cause as to why he should not pay the amount specified in the notice along with any other amount imposed as fine or penalty under the provisions of this Act.

(3) The appropriate Adjudicating Officer, after considering the written or verbal representation of such person, may determine the amount of duty or tax chargeable or fee payable by such person which shall in no case exceed the amount specified in the notice and such person shall pay the amount so determined besides the fine or penalty or both.

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