ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Customs shared its concerns about issues in the trade data received from China under Electronic Data Exchange Mechanism, as it is not helping Pak authorities fully to overcome...
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Customs shared its concerns about issues in the trade data received from China under Electronic Data Exchange Mechanism, as it is not helping Pak authorities fully to overcome under invoicing in the range of $4 billion.
“Pakistan Customs candidly shared its concern with the Chinese delegation about issues in the data received from China under Electronic Data Exchange Mechanism. The Chinese side subscribed to these views and assured its full-fledged cooperation to resolve this matter so that the menace of under-invoicing/over-invoicing and trade based money laundering could effectively be curbed,” official announcement of the FBR stated on Wednesday night.
There are some rough estimates that the menace of under invoicing/over invoicing through Chinese borders was causing losses to the national exchequer to the tune of $4 to $6 billion on per annum basis. Both the countries had agreed to share electronic data exchange mechanism from last couple of years but there are still some glitches as the full fledge data was not being provided as desired by Pakistan Customs so the practice of under invoicing continued unabated. The FBR issued press statement and stated that Chinese Customs delegation visited FBR and held detailed meetings with Pakistan Customs on 10-11 December to further cooperation between the Customs authorities of the two governments. General Customs Administration of China and Pakistan Customs under the FBR are actively involved in cooperation, information exchange, and enforcement coordination. In pursuance of the shared objectives, delegates from both the Customs administrations held several meetings (alternately) in China and Pakistan on a wide range of issues during the recent years.
While welcoming the distinguished guests, FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi highlighted the brotherly relationship, between People’s Republic of China and Pakistan and termed those to be very cordial and an asset for Pakistan. He stated that this bond could further be reinforced through greater collaboration and exchange of information/data keeping in view best interest of both the friendly countries. He also emphasised seamless and unhindered exchange of values declared in both countries at the time of export so that the menaces of under-invoicing and money laundering could effectively be curbed. He stated that the said matter has also come under active discussion between Ambassador of china in Islamabad, Yao Jing and himself.
Negotiations were also held about the Green Corridor. Green Corridor will be a fast track Customs Clearance System exclusively for agricultural products at silk route Dry Port (SRDP) at Sust, Pakistan and Khunjerab Dry Port at Tashkurgan on the Chinese side. The other areas of priority discussed in the meeting were removal of obstacles in exchange of information, on real time basis, between both countries about values of goods originating from them. It was urged to have exchange of information/intelligence to effectively control illicit flows of currency. Both sides discussed the development of Authorized Economic Operators Programme between both countries. More effective Border Management Cooperation was stressed by both the sides.
Muhammad Javed Ghani, the Member (Customs Policy, FBR) highlighted that due to this expeditious customs clearance system, the fresh fruit and other agricultural produce imports and exports will be cleared on priority on fulfilling of due customs and import policy requirements. There will be dedicated Customs staff and separate shed/area for the handling, examination, storage and clearance of such cargo. There will be minimum intrusive examination, with more reliance on risk-based selective examination and automated processing.
In the two days’ meeting, consensus was reached to make an all-out effort to expedite clearances of the agricultural products, under the proposed Green Corridor, at Sost-Khunjarab Border. It was agreed that Border-management cooperation would be enhanced and, for this purpose, focal persons were nominated to have liaison and regular meetings. It was also stressed that Pakistan Customs would share its experiences of roll out of the Authorized Economic Operation Program with its Chinese counterparts and both administrations would closely work towards exchange of information about AEOs for smooth flow of trade between both countries. Cooperation between the local field officers would be enhanced and a working mechanism was decided between Urumqi Customs and the Collector, Model Collectorate of Customs, Islamabad for exchange of information about passengers traveling by air between Pakistan and China.