ISLAMABAD: The importers have out-rightly rejected enhanced customs values on the import of mobile phone accessories determined by the Directorate General of Customs Valuation, Karachi, and declared that this “wrong policy measure" would encourage smuggling and illicit trade.

Shaukat Ali Safi, secretary general Pak-China Business Community told Business Recorder that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should immediately withdraw the said ruling, which had made extraordinary raise in duties and taxes on the import of mobile phone accessories.

The importers have termed it as an “unjustified taxation" on the import of different types of mobile phone accessories during ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

It is not clear that how the FBR can take such a harsh measure against the importers during the current economic conditions, Safi added.

The new ruling would increase smuggling on the import of mobile phone accessories through illegal channels due to heavy taxation and extraordinary increase in customs values on the import of mobile phone accessories.

Directorate General of Customs Valuation Karachi has enhanced customs values on the import of mobile phone accessories including mobile chargers, mobile hands-free/ear phone, mobile head phone, power bank/battery pack, selfi-sticks, and glass projectors.

As a result of new values on the import of mobile phone accessories, the duties and taxes have been considerably enhanced on list of items mentioned in the said ruling.

According to a valuation ruling issued by the directorate here on Thursday, earlier customs values of Mobile Accessories were determined under Section 25-A of the Customs Act, 1969, vide Valuation Ruling No. 908/2016 dated 12 August 2016.

The valuation ruling was very old and values in the international market had shown upward trend.

Moreover, a number of new accessories had also been introduced in market.

Therefore, an exercise was initiated to determine the customs values of mobile accessories under Section 25-A of the Customs Act, 1969.

Meetings with all the importers/stakeholders and trade bodies, were held in this Directorate General on 21 August 2019, and 13 January 2020.

The importers/stakeholders were requested to submit their proposals

suggestions as well as following documents before or during the course of stakeholders meetings so that customs values could be determined: invoices of imports during last three months showing customs value; websites. names and e-mail addresses of known foreign manufacturers of the item in question through which the actual current value can be ascertained; copies of contracts made/LCs opened during the last three months showing the value of item in question; copies of sales tax invoices issued during last four months showing the difference in price (excluding duty and taxes) to substantiate their contentions.

Importers did not attend the scheduled meetings.

The valuation methods provided in Section 25 of the Customs Act, 1969 were duly applied in their regular sequential order to arrive at Customs values of subject goods.

The transaction value method as provided in sub-Section (1) of Section 25 of the Customs Act, 1969 was found inapplicable due to wide variation of values displayed in the import data.

Moreover, neither any one attended the meeting nor submitted the documentary evidences to prove that their declared value was true transactional value.

Hence, requisite information under law was not available to arrive at the correct transaction value.

Therefore, identical similar goods value methods as provided in sub-sections (5) and (6) of Section 25 ibid were examined for applicability to the valuation issue in the instant case but die to wide variations in declarations, variety and specifications, these methods could not be relied upon exclusively.

In line with the statutory sequential order of Section 25, this office conducted a number of inquiries from various markets to arrive at customs values under sub-section (7) of Section 25 of the Customs Act, 1969.

Finally reliance had to be made on sub-section (7) of Section 25 of the Customs Act, 1969 to determine Customs values of mobile accessories.

Customs Values for Mobile Accessories: mobile accessories hereinafter specified to be assessed to duty / taxes at minimum Customs values as per Table-A and B.

Where declared transaction values are higher than the Customs value in this Ruling or higher evidential data is available of stipulated period of 90 days.

The officer shall apply those values in terms of relevant Sub-Section of Section 25 of the Customs Act, 1969.

In case of consignments imported by air, the assessing officer shall take into account the differential between air freight and sea freight, while applying the Customs values determined in this ruling.

The values determined vide this ruling shall be the applicable Customs value for assessment of subject imported goods until and unless it is rescinded or revised by the competent authority in terms of sub-sections (1) or (3) of Section 25-A of the Customs Act, 1969.

This valuation ruling is appeal-able under the law and a revision petition may be filed against this ruling under Section 25-D of the Customs Act, 1969, within 30 days from the date of issue of this ruling before the Director General, Directorate General of Customs Valuation, 7th Floor, Custom House, Karachi.

The Collectors of Customs may kindly ensure that the values given in the ruling for the given description of goods are applied by the concerned staff without fail.

Any anomaly observed may kindly be brought to the notice of Directorate General immediately.

The Customs values determined in the valuation ruling are for the descriptions and specifications as mentioned herein, HS codes are mentioned for illustrative purposes, so that valuation ruling values are made accessible to the assessing officers.

The assessment shall be finalised in the correct classifications after fulfilling requisite formalities relating to importability or other certifications required thereon.

In addition to this, it is further necessary to verify that there is no mis-declaration of any sort or violation of Import Policy Order or section of the Customs Act, 1969 or any other law in vogue therein.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020