FBR takes notice of seizing ‘luxury items’ from travellers at airports

Revenue authority directs customs officials to only seize commercial quantities of banned imported goods


Ehtesham Mufti May 26, 2022
On Tuesday, the travellers said that the goods that they brought for their families on non-commercial basis were seized from them. Photo: Twitter/@iamshafaatali

KARACHI:

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) on Wednesday took notice of the seizing of 'luxury goods' in small quantities from the luggage of the passengers arriving at the country's airports, and issued fresh directives in this regard.

In a statement sent to Chief Collectors of Customs Islamabad, Karachi, Peshawar, Quetta and Lahore, the authority said that the government had released a list of luxury items under SRO No 598, banning them until further orders.

However, it has come to the knowledge of the board that the field formations, especially the relevant officials have started to seize items in small quantities, even edible items, causing inconvenience to the travellers, it added.

The FBR directed the authorities to seize only the commercial quantities of the said items and facilitate the passengers as per the earlier practice in this regard.

The communique made it clear that any violation of the fresh directives will lead to punitive steps against those responsible.

Also read: Customs officials begin to seize 'luxury items' at airports

A day earlier, it was reported that the Pakistan Customs had started seizing luxury goods from the travellers arriving at the country's airports. The items include chocolates, used mobile phones, branded shoes and those related to sanitary ware.

According to some passengers, they had brought the items for their families and children on a non-commercial basis.

On the contrary, Customs officials had said that they started taking the action in light of the federal government's directives.

On May 19, the federal cabinet banned import of around 41 items for two months to forestall a looming default to support the balance of payments position. The prohibition will not apply to the imports in rupees or through barter mechanism by land routes.

The prohibition may be reviewed after two months, the federal cabinet had decided.

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