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Pakistan Customs should utilise modern technology for valuation of goods at import stage: Zakaria Usman

Karachi, May 20, 2014 (PPI-OT): The unfair valuation of the goods by Customs authority at import stage causing loss to the exchequer. The Customs authority applies old methodology for valuation of goods which cannot control the under invoicing.

The modern economies have connected their valuation department with Scanned magazines and journals for this purpose to ease the valuation process. This was stated by Zakaria Usman, President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI).

He further added that smuggling, under invoicing and mis-declaration are the major elements of corruption which cause financial loss to the exchequer.

In the past individuals were involved in under invoicing but now it has been converted into group under invoicing. He said that there is a law that Customs can purchase the goods on invoice price and sell the same on actual price if the declared price is lesser then the actual price.

He drew the attention of the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Commerce to the problems of customs valuation at import stage and said that the customs authority has adopted the easiest way of market enquiry or market intelligence.

They avoid to use other techniques like searching through website, newspapers, magazines, journals, bulletins, internet and other external sources. He requested the Commerce Minister to modernize the Customs Valuation Department to enable them to curb the under invoicing.

Zakaria Usman stressed on the use of modern technology for valuation of goods at import stage and urged for recruitment of new professionals along with provision of latest equipments to plug the loopholes in the system. These professionals should be given specific training which should be made mandatory for valuation officials.

In this modern era the price of every commodity can be ascertained from internet. The professional staff can get the access of such website which provides services as per the requirements of WTO. Moreover, due to fluctuation in prices of fuel, the prices of many commodities are changed on daily basis and updated on the internet.

He quoted the example plastic granules for which Pakistan Plastic Manufacturing Association (PPMA) recommends the import price on the basis of prices scanned from international journals/magazines to avoid any misdeclaration and under invoicing and the Customs authority accept the same.

He suggested that FPCCI has a team of experts to guide the valuation department on price of each item and we are ready to extend full support to modernize the valuation process so that the under invoicing can be reduced.

He said that there is a Standing Committee of FPCCI for Custom Valuation under the chairmanship of Mr. Muhammad Hafeez which can also extend all possible assistance to the valuation department.

For more information, contact:
M. A. Lodhi
Secretary General
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)
B-1, Federation House, Main Clifton Road,
Karachi-75600, Pakistan
Tel: 0092-21-35873691, 93-94
Fax: +9221 3587 4332
Email: info@fpcci.com.pk
URL: www.fpcci.com.pk

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