ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry in collaboration with Collector of Customs, Model Customs Collectorate, Islamabad organized an orientation session for its members/importers.
Senior officers of the Directorate General of Reforms & Automation (Customs) of Federal Board of Revenue, Director State Bank of Pakistan and officers from PRAL addressed the session. The orientation focused on the forthcoming launch of the Electronic “I” Form for facilitation of the importers in payments of duties and taxes and to curb the fake and forged import transactions.
Abdul Haye Sheikh, Additional Director, Directorate General of Reforms & Automation (Customs), Karachi said that the development of EIF was in its final stages and issuance of EIF through WeBOC system would become mandatory for all imports, whether made through WeBOC or One Customs. The importers operating in One Customs regime would also be required to have their ‘I’ Forms issued electronically through WeBOC System. He advised the traders who filed import Goods Declarations in the One Customs system to get their WeBOC user IDs to avoid any glitches in imports.
He said the prevailing import process carried opportunities for fraud and forgery, lacked monitoring and control. There were chances of duplicate payment against a single consignment through banking channel, payment of import through informal channels and misdeclaration of value to Customs by not declaring mode of payment.
However, the EIF system would address all these issues and manual issuance will be stopped with effect from a cutoff date to be notified by the SBP. It will be mandatory for Authorized Dealers to fill amount in the EIF system at the time of import payment. The new system will also provide comprehensive visibility of data to SBP, banks and Customs through MIS reports and will help in reconciliation cases. He said training programs on EIF system for authorized dealers and users will also be arranged.
Fazal Mahmood, Director, State Bank of Pakistan said that the EIF system would be a step towards documented economy and would discourage fraudulent import practices. It will bring more efficiency in import processes as importers will get rid of difficult and lengthy paper-based procedures.
He said SBP in collaboration with FBR was working to fully automate all imports and export processes so as to reduce the cost of doing business in the country. Arshad Hussain, Senior Manager, PRAL gave a detailed presentation about using EIF system to the business community.
In his message, Atif Ikram Sheikh, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry thanked FBR team for giving briefing about EIF and said that all redundant steps from import and export processes should be removed.
He said Customs should replace its manual systems and business processes with fully automated systems to facilitate the business community. Sheikh Abdul Waheed, Vice President ICCI said that Customs should establish a help desk at ICCI to train importers on EIF System. NNI