Traders want Customs valuation office in city

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LAHORE: Traders demand that the Customs valuation time frame should be increased from the present 90 days to at least one year and that the valuation department should be established in Punjab capital too.

Speaking at a press conference here on Sunday, Lahore Chamber’s standing committee on fast moving consumer goods convener Ejaz Tanveer said the 90-day valuation period is creating difficulties for legal importers and encouraging smuggling in the country.

He argued that business deals leading to purchase of goods in foreign countries and shipment of the same to Pakistan take much time and in most cases berths are not allotted late to the ships at the Karachi port. During this the 90-day valuation time passes and the Customs Department changes upward duty rates on the goods to the loss of the importers.

He demanded that a valuation office should be set up in Lahore too whose recommendations should be placed before the meeting of the Karachi valuation for deciding the duty rates, etc.

Mr Tanveer also sought setting up of an autonomous Shipping Lines Monitoring Authority like other countries to enable the importers file their complaints against the ‘fleecing’ by various shipping companies.

He demanded allocating special berths for ships carrying imported foods and extended time frame for demurrage charges, particularly in case of rush on the port. He lamented that the port authorities calculate calendar days instead of working days for implementing demurrage charges.

Published in Dawn, March 22nd, 2021