Home »Taxation » Pakistan » Fee on goods clearance under WeBOC: FBR seeks Law Division’s opinion
The Federal Board of Revenue has sought opinion of Law and Justice Division for charging token fee/processing fee on clearance of imported consignments at Karachi under the Web Based One Customs (WeBOC) as per existing customs laws. Sources told Business Recorder here on Thursday that the FBR has taken the decision in a recent meeting to finalise matters on the Pakistan Customs Computerised System (PaCCS) and WeBOC under the chairmanship of FBR Member Customs Mumtaz Haider Rizvi.

The FBR on Thursday issued instructions to the Director General Post Clearance Audit; Director General WeBOC; Director General Customs Valuation Karachi; Director Automation Customs, Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) and Chief Collector of Customs South Karachi for implementation of WeBOC at Port Qasim. The FBR has further directed that necessary action on the decisions be taken urgently so that implementation of WeBOC at MCC Port Qasim would take place within the given timelines.

According to the decision of the meeting, a token fee per Goods Declaration has been proposed on the pattern of fee charged per GD on the import of consignments under the PACCS. Legally, the imposition of the token fee/processing fee has to be supported by the local customs laws like Customs Act 1969. The FBR will impose token fee/processing fee after obtaining viewpoint of Law and Justice Division.

The issue of charging token fee/processing fee by PaCCS and WeBOC was also discussed. Member (Customs) directed that Law and Procedure section (Customs) shall get the issue resolved at the earliest after getting the approval of Law Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Division within a period of two weeks. The action has to be taken by the MCC Port Qasim and Second Secretary Law and Procedure (L&P) FBR.

The FBR on Thursday taken the following decisions after discussing the WeBOC Implementation Matrix:

1. Risk Management System (RMS) for WeBOC: Member Customs informed the meeting that the Risk Management System designed by Development Team and PRAL has been approved by the development and review teams of CRMS. The final approval of overview team of CRMS is pending. It was advised that Chief Executive Officer PRAL may complete the requisite deployment for the trial run without delay. The orders will be issued by the Board for Trial Run and creation of CRMU (Custom Risk Management Unit).

2. Notification (SRO) for QICT jurisdiction: For changing the jurisdiction for handling of International containerised cargo arriving at Port Qasim a Notification has been issued by L&P section of Customs Wing. For the effective date of the notification an amending notification has been issued by L&P section of Customs Wing on September 20, 2011. Member (Customs) asked the participants of the meeting that if there is any other issue to be handled at the Board then that may be brought to the notice of the Board.

3. Public Notices, Standing Orders, SOP's for WeBOC Operations at QICT: Collector Port Qasim and Collector MCC (PaCCS) to issue relevant orders/instructions so as to ensure that operations in WeBOC are smooth and efficient. Collector MCC Port Qasim informed the meeting that some Standing Orders and Public Notices have already been issued by Collector MCC Port Qasim and PD WeBOC and further standing orders will be issued on need basis.

4. HR deployment for QICT Operations: For implementation of WeBOC at Port Muhammad Bin Qasim appropriate Human Resources are also required. Member (Customs) informed that Member (Admn), Collector Port Qasim, Chief Collector (South) and Project Director (WeBOC) held a meeting to resolve the issue of HR requirements of WeBOC implementation at Port Qasim. Member Administration will issue the required posting orders.

5. Awareness, Training & Confirmations with Stakeholders (TO's, Shipping Agents, FPCCI, KCCI, etc): The issue of training and awareness regarding WeBOC was also discussed in the meeting. Chief Collector (South) informed that training for KCCI and FPCCI is planned and a separate website for WeBOC has been suggested having all information pertaining to WeBOC. Collector Port Qasim informed that several training sessions with relevant stakeholders have been organised at Directorate General of Training and Research, Karachi. The Chief Collector will provide a report to Board in this regard in a week.

6. Registration of Users Internal & External (Including PP's, FTN's US Emb, ANF, I&I, etc) & Processes: Participants of the meeting were informed by Collector MCC PQ that Registration of almost 5000 users has been completed. Collector Port Qasim informed that users already working/registered in PaCCS may also be registered in WeBOC in consultation with Collector MCC PaCCS. Report to be sent by Collector MCC Port Qasim on progress of registration by September 25, 2011.

7. Connectivity - EDI with online stakeholders (Gates, SA's Bank, etc): The Chief Executive PRAL informed that connectivity of WeBOC had already been established with all stakeholders. FBR Member (Customs) directed that a detailed report be sent to the Board by CEO PRAL by September 23, 2011 in this regard.

8. Availability of Workstations for Assessment Hall, Review, 2nd Review, etc: For implementation of WeBOC at MCC Port Qasim additional workstations are also required. For the available Workstations at Port Qasim, the Collector (PaCCS) informed that part of hardware (30-40%) was required by PaCCS for handling the legacy issues and processing of GDs already filed in PaCCS. Collector MCC PaCCS further informed that around 60% of the available hardware resources will be provided to MCC Port Qasim and MCC Exports by PaCCS. Collector PaCCS requested that PRAL shall address the connectivity issues for the workstations with the WeBOC system. Member (Customs) directed the Collectors that the issues be resolved amicably and directed PRAL that additional Work Stations be installed for WeBOC and connectivity be ensured by PRAL for more workstations. It was decided that Collector PaCCS, Port Qasim, PD (WeBOC) and CEO PRAL shall amicably distribute the available infrastructure and send a report to the Board through Chief Collector (South).

9. Space Allocation & Environment: Collector (PaCCS) informed the participants that PaCCS Collectorate might need some rooms at Port Qasim for handling legacy issues but assured that whatever assistance he can give will be provided to Collector MCC Port Qasim. He further informed that some rooms will be handed over initially to MCC Port Qasim. Member (Customs) advised Chief Collector (South) to get the matter resolved for effective implementation of WeBOC.

10. Review of risk management system (RMS) & WeBOC: Member (Customs) informed the participants of the meeting that the Review of RMS and WeBOC operations will be done by Chief Collector (South) independently through a committee to be constituted by Chief Collector (South). The committee will provide its report to the Board.

11. Delineation of Functions between PD-WeBOC & Collectorates: The matter of delineation of function agreed between PD WeBOC and Collector MCC Port Qasim was also discussed in the meeting. Project Director (WeBOC) and Collector Port Qasim will send a draft order for delineation of function of PRAL, Project office (WeBOC) and Collectorate of Port Qasim.

12. All official/Functional ID's issued by Collector: CEO PRAL informed the participants that there is no operational problem in this matter and all staff of MCC Port Qasim has been issued USER-IDs as per their functions.

13. Procedure for Change Request/Bug Repair: Chief Collector (South) was of the view that RMS related change request shall not to be entertained / processed by the Collectorate and that only needs to be routed through the RMU to be constituted by the Board. Chief Collector (South) proposed that the WeBOC related change request shall go through Project Director (WeBOC). Member (Customs) advised that the procedure in the form of a general order be issued by Chief Collector (South).

14. Confirmation of verification of all Notifications including Tariff, Import Policy, etc: It was decided during the meeting that CEO PRAL along with Project Director (WeBOC) will review and certify that all notifications, including import policy and updated Customs Tariff are fed in WeBOC till September 25th 2011. CEO PRAL and Project Director (WeBOC) will co-ordinate this activity. The meeting was informed that teams will be constituted by Project Director WeBOC and PRAL to cater to this important requirement.

15. Exclusions of Cargo types: CEO PRAL informed that whatever is being cleared at the moment in PaCCS will be cleared through WeBOC for cargo arriving/departing from MCC Port Qasim. It was further clarified that gradually the exclusions will be included prospectively in WeBOC after system testing is undertaken/completed and system performance is found satisfactory.

Member (Customs) informed the participants to complete the assigned tasks in time and further advised that all officers of Customs and PRAL shall endeavour to successfully implement the WeBOC system with maximum facilitation to trade and effective enforcement and controls, sources added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2011

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