FBR doubles service charges on goods clearance

Businessmen concerned as charges go up to Rs500 per goods declaration

Irshad Ansari June 23, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has doubled service charges on the clearance of imported goods under the Pakistan Automated Clearance System (PACS) and the Web Based One Customs (WeBOC), which the government has introduced to replace PACS.

Following the revision, the service charges on the clearance of a goods declaration (GD) have gone up from Rs250 to Rs500. On the other hand, the business community has voiced concern that the move will adversely affect the country’s imports and industries.

Commenting on the development, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) former president Zubair Malik pointed out that the cost of goods production was already high and the measure introduced in the budget for 2019-20 would badly damage the industrial sector and the overall economy.

The 100% hike in clearance charges would negatively impact goods trade because the cost of imported goods, including raw material, would surge, he said. “The production cost of Pakistani goods will also increase due to which locally produced goods will become uncompetitive in the international market,” he said.

Consequently, he feared, Pakistan’s production capacity would fall and exacerbate the economic woes already being faced by the country.  As per FBR’s notification 637, an amendment has been made in the Customs Act 2011, after which service charges on goods marked under PACS were doubled from Rs250 to Rs500 per GD. According to a source, the finance ministry had declined the FBR a payment of $600,000 monthly on account of token money for Agility International for the PACS software, advising it to arrange such funds on its own.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2019.

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