A large number of banned consignments have been detained by Customs at the ports for the last many years. However, the consignments have not been re-exported by the importers or shipping companies, which brought these banned consignments into Pakistan.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has extended a special power to the customs officials in the field formations to issue instructions to the shipping lines to re-export out of Pakistan any banned or restricted goods.
Previously, such powers were not available with the customs department to direct shipping lines in this regard.
In a communication to the field formations, the FBR has conveyed to the Collectors of Customs that several consignments containing banned or restricted goods are lying at the ports for several years. Para 20 of the Import Policy Order prescribes that banned items imported in commercial quantities shall be re-exported at the expense of the importer or the shipping line. There is no such corresponding provision in the Customs Act, 1969.
To make shipping lines responsible for re-export of such consignment and to harmonize the provisions of the Customs Act, 1969, and the IPO, section 82 has been amended, FBR’s directive added.
Under the amendment made in the Customs Act 1969 through Finance Act 2021, provided that Collector of Customs may direct the importer or in case the importer is not traceable, the shipping line to re-export out of Pakistan any goods, banned or restricted, through a notification issued by the Federal Government, if the same are not cleared or auctioned within sixty days of the date of their arrival.