Imports of mandated commodities to be done through electronic verification

Import of 166 commodities disallowed without PSW’s electronic clearance

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Single Window Customs (PSW) has asked Pakistan Standard and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) to switch over to the electronic verification system of imports from December 21, 2022.

Through a letter sent to the Director General of PSQCA on December 15, PSW directed to end import of at least 166 commodities (including food and nonfood items) under its mandate through a manual system. 

Pakistan Single Window is an initiative led by Pakistan Customs which is aimed at reducing the time and cost of doing business by digitizing Pakistan’s cross border trade and eliminating paper based manual processes.

According to sources the switch to the electronic clearance system will not only ensure transparency in the imports but also discourage the rampant corruption in the import/export department of PSQCA. The officials of PSQCA are allegedly involved in taking bribes and other malpractices through the manual import system.

The clearing agents have been writing to concerned ministries against the PSQCA officials for their involvement in the corrupt practices. The quality and standard of 166 imported commodities, listed as compulsory items at PSQCA, are inspected by the authority at ports before release. 

Initially PSQCA had agreed to PSW inspection for only a couple of products, but now it’s a complete switchover. “After a successful pilot project for issuance of electronic release orders of PSQCA in the PSWO environment the scope was extended smoothly to more products on November 21, 2022,” said the letter.  

In 2020 federal cabinet approved the inclusion of 61 new food and nonfood items in the ‘compulsory certification mark scheme’ of PSQCA, making the total mandated items to 166. PSQCA, under the law, is authorized to test, certify and give licenses to the compulsory items included in the scheme.


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Ghulam Abbas
Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]


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