ISLAMABAD: In a bid to provide relief to importers, the federal government has granted a waiver of penal surcharge worth approximately over Rs600 million on overstayed consignments in warehouses.
According to sources, the finance ministry has already obtained the cabinet’s approval regarding in this regard.
They said that a penal surcharge worth over Rs630 million was imposed on overstayed consignments of the importers, adding that currently, around Rs6.82 billion worth goods of various importers were placed in warehouses, which were subject to heavy taxes and duties.
Sources said due to the fluctuation in the exchange rate, coupled with other negative economic factors, the importers seemed indecisive to clear the bonded goods within the statutory time limit, adding that the delay in clearance of overstayed bonded goods by the importers was also because of the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic and its resulting lockdown.
“The government has now granted this waiver to ensure that importers clear their overstayed goods from warehouses till 31st July 2020,” an insider said.
According to documents, the Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) had requested the Federal Board of Revenue to consider grant of a waiver of penal surcharge on overstayed consignments till 30th June 2020 in order to alleviate the problems of the importers due to fluctuation of the exchange rate and other unprecedented restrictions on a range of business and economic activities triggered by COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, Pakistan Coating Association and other individual importers such as Web Converters (Pvt) Ltd, Z&J Hygienic Products (Pvt) Ltd and Grandeur Metals (Pvt) Ltd had also placed requests regarding waiver of penal surcharge on overstayed goods.
The Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), in its letters dated 14 April and 4 May had informed that the economic activities were severely disrupted by the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
“The economic impact has been extremely adverse as the government has closed down the whole business and commercial sectors to control the spread of Covid-19, putting a massive crimp on all commercial, economic and trading activities for months to come.
“In the prevailing circumstance, importers are also unable to ex-bond their consignments within the time period stipulated in section 98 of the Customs Act, 1969. The warehousing period as prescribed in the aforesaid section is six months and all overstayed consignments attract penal surcharge on clearance at 1pc per month on duty/taxes involved.”