Karachi: The Pakistan Tanners Association has realized the gravity of the situation for the severe scarcity of raw materials in Pakistan and also price hike, which are main obstacles now for serving PTA’s members in meeting their export orders already committed with the valued foreign buyers/customers at the negotiated prices internationally.
PTA has taken-up the matter with FBR, Ministry of Commerce, Member Customs, all Customs Collectorates, Dry Ports in Lahore, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Islamabad, Multan specially at Sea Ports at KPT/ West Wharf and Port Qasim, Karachi. The Model Customs Collectorate (MCC) has claimed to have arrested an exporters allegedly involved in multimillion scam, which was allegedly being fraudulently exported to Taiwan by Mis-declaration and without payment of regulatory duty of millions of Rupees. The team of Customs Department with the help of PTA have intercepted a consignment having 3 Containers, which entered for export to Taiwan and the total consignment was declared as US$ 54,440.91 equal to Pak Rs.4.709 Million.
The containers on examination were found comprising of “Wet Blue Split Leather” of PCT Code 4104.1900 as against the fraudulently declared description of “Buffalo Side Split Leather of Cow double Butt Leather of PCT heading 4113.9000. The ascertained description classifiable under PCT Code 4104.1900 attracts export “Regulatory Duty at the rate of 20%” in terms of notification SRO 1011(1)/2005.
In this context, PTA has made immediately intervention at the instance of Customs Department to ascertain the actual price and confirmation of description as Wet Blue split Leather, resultantly the consignment has been seized under Section 168 of the Customs Act, 1969 and the exporter was arrested. The Customs Department concerned has lodged an FIR under the Customs Act, 1969 for further investigation.
It reveals from the initial investigations carried out by the Task Team transpired that five exporters had earlier clandestinely exported as many as 155 consignments of wet blue hides/skins through the self assessment automated web based system of the Collectorate declaring incorrect PCT code to avoid levy of Regulatory Duty as the system calculates the same on the basis of PCT codes. This act also promotes illegal export of leather from the country thus damaging severely to the Leather Industry of Pakistan and consequently harmful to the national exchequer as well.
A meeting of PTA’s delegation led by the Mr. Khurshid Alam, Chairman, PTA was held with the Additional Collector of Customs of Model Collectorates in Lahore, Mr. Abdul Basit Chaudhry, wherein, it was inter-alia discussed the matter and PTA’s delegation was assured on special request made by the Chairman, PTA to him during the meeting to eliminate the process of export of Wet Blue Hides/skins through the Self Assessment automated web based system and to keep maintain the export through “Manual Procedure” to eradicate the illegal export of wet blue and wet blue split leather from Pakistan. In this context, the Chairman, PTA has already attended various Important Meetings in Islamabad with the higher Government authorities concerned at FBR, Member Customs, Ministry of Commerce for this specific of unscrupulous practice of export of wet blue and wet blue split leather and by virtue of which the results are being brought out now.
PTA has issued necessary directives to all Clearing and Forwarding Agents in Pakistan to keep them away from these negative activities of export of wet blue and wet blue split leather to save themselves from unnecessary problems.
PTA rest assure to all members of PTA that this matter of significant nature is being dealt on priority basis under my direct patronage/supervision with all Government quarters concerned specially all Customs Collectorates and Sea Ports and Dry Ports in Pakistan / Karachi for taking maximum possible measures to stop this exercise of misdeclared / illicit export of Wet Blue and Wet Blue Split Leather from Pakistan to ensure availability of this basic raw materials for the Industry at the reasonable price value.
PTA request to all Members of Pakistan Tanners’ Association to inform this Association Office very immediately, in writing, if they may have any information/news/hints with certain detail for the above activities, so that necessary course of action may be taken by PTA under direct my supervision with the available Mechanism already developed with the FBR, Ministry of Commerce, All Customs Collectorates specially Sea Ports and Dry Ports in Pakistan / Karachi to stop this harmful activities with strict hands.
PTA appreciates all the gesture of cooperation/patronage/assistance made by FBR, Ministry of Commerce, Customs Collectorates, Sea Ports and Dry Ports Authorities in Karachi/Pakistan in having close coordination/liaison with PTA in sharing of information and making verification of such shipments and price value for determination actual regulatory duty to be imposed on it.
Apart from the above, PTA is also actively taking up the matter for the smuggling of live animals from Pakistan to Afghanistan and Iran, which is also causing scarcity of Raw Materials/Skins for the Industry and also increasing meat prices in Pakistan gradually and confident that necessary positive/preventive measures may be taken by the Government of Pakistan shortly to ensure supply of sufficient quantity of Raw Materials/Skins for the Industry in Pakistan.
PTA is also emphasizing the need more strongly now with the Government authorities concerned for the enhancement of Regulatory Duty from 20% to 50% on export of Wet Blue and Wet Blue split Leather from Pakistan and hopefully to get the positive decision from the Government in due course, while further course of strict action may be discussed in next CEC Meeting on 18.06.2011.
Further details and brief outcome of PTA’s efforts made on this specific issue would be informed to the Members of Central Executive Committee in its next meeting scheduled to be held on 18th June, 2011 in Karachi and Lahore thru Video Conference system simultaneously.
PTA is vigorously committed with the support / help for the betterment of its members and serves to the Leather Industry of Pakistan for its prosperity / development.
For more information, contact:
Pakistan Tanners Association