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Smuggling: FBR teams to check import documents from Sep 1

Smuggling: FBR teams to check import documents from Sep 1
August 18, 2019

ISLAMABAD (92 News) - The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has decided to constitute joint teams within its formations to conduct raids in commercial and trade centres to prevent smuggling.

According to FBR Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi, the joint teams of FBR will check and verify the documents of imported goods.

He said the teams would start visiting big commercial centres and markets in all cities of the country from September 1 to check supply of imported goods and import documents.

The Customs Act 1969 empowers the bureau to check documents of imports.

Under the provisions , the FBR has powers to seek import documents for the imported goods available for sale to consumers from the person dealing in such goods, an FBR press release issued on Saturday said.

The FBR said ,” This exercise does not represent ‘raid’ on the premises or any coercive action against the traders. The purpose of this exercise is only to ensure that relevant import documents are available and foreign goods available for sale are properly backed by documents.”

“It has been decided that such exercises will be undertaken on ‘test’ check basis. All teams will be conducting respective identification as being officially designated and the team will be headed by a senior person. In case if for any reason such documents are not readily available at the shops/offices then teams will provide adequate opportunity to submit the document in the respective offices/ shops after reasonable time.” the press release added

It said Member Customs (Operations) and Member (IR-Operations) had been directed to supervise the activity and provide complete assistance to the joint teams wherever required.

Director General (Intelligence & Investigation) Customs and Director General (Intelligence & Investigation)-Inland Revenue had also been directed to constitute joint teams, the FBR press release said.

It said the traders can lodge complaints against any undesirable activity by the Special Joint Teams by reporting at the helpline 051-111 772 772  or email [email protected].

“The purpose of taking this step is to expedite drive against smuggling and protect the local economy of the country. The Government of Pakistan is undertaking various steps to curb these undesirable practices and inter alia some actions to this effect have also been incorporated in the Finance Act, 2019.”

In July, the FBR chief had said under-invoicing, smuggling and problems related to Afghan transit trade (ATT) are priority issues for the government and stringent measures are being taken to resolve them.

Speaking to FBR local officers, members of the business community and media personnel in Faisalabad, Zaidi said the local industry could not be strengthened without resolving the issues of under-invoicing, smuggling and the Afghan transit trade.