ECC approves regulatory amendments in export, import policy orders

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ISLAMABAD: With an aim to improve ease of doing business in Pakistan, the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet (ECC) approved on Tuesday regulatory amendments in the Export Policy Order 2016 and Import Policy Order 2016, as proposed by Commerce Division.

The meeting of the committee was held under the chairmanship of Minister for Finance Asad Umar.

The meeting approved the Commerce Division’s proposal that duty and taxes on all imported vehicles in new and used condition under personal baggage or gift scheme would be paid out of foreign exchange arranged by Pakistan nationals themselves or local recipient supported by bank encashment certificate showing conversion of foreign remittance to local currency.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan imported approximately 77,000 units during 2017 with 2018 units (imports) expected at around 60,000 ($600 million). This is approximately 19pc of Pakistan auto sales (imports + local; 2018 local sales at 254,560 units).

Experts view this development to be positive for local auto assemblers as it may lower the import of cars as per the country’s channel checks. To note, Pakistan’s auto sales have been on a declining trend as economic slowdown as well as law barring tax non-filers from purchasing vehicles had dented volumetric growth.

Meanwhile, the ECC, during its meeting, also accorded approval for withdrawal of customs duty, additional customs duty and sales tax on import of cotton, effective 1st February till 30th June 2019, to ensure sufficient supply of cotton for the industry.

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