KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) joined forces with the customs authority to digitally monitor the outflows of foreign currency by making it mandatory for the importers to submit the ‘import form’ through the online tax system.
“All importers shall be required to submit electronic import form (EIF) request through their web-based one customs (WeBOC) user identity to any authorised dealer (bank) of their choice in Pakistan,” the SBP said in a circular.
“All importers of goods are required to make a declaration to the customs authorities in WeBOC on EIF before filing of goods declaration (GD) through an authorised dealer.”
The State Bank of Pakistan said the current manual Form-I will no longer be issued by the authorised dealers from September 1.
“Electronic linkage of with the commercial banks for the submission and verification of Form ‘I’ is an important initiative of the Pakistan Customs and State Bank of Pakistan,” the SBP said.
“This initiative will help in prevention of import related frauds and provide direct interface between Customs and the Form ‘I’.”
The EIF will be applicable for imports cleared through both WeBOC and the old “One Customs” systems.
The circular said the banks should start approving EIF requests in WeBOC with effect from August 15.
“However, attachment of EIFs with GDs shall start from September 1, 2016,” said the SBP.
The circular said the banks will approve the EIF request, submitted by the importers on the day of making advance payment, establishment of letter of credit or registration of contract.
The government will use the EIF as a tool to monitor the source and outflows of foreign remittances and check the goods imported without foreign exchange through the State Bank of Pakistan.
The circular further said designated branches of the banks are authorised to issue ‘Form-I’ on an application by the importers.
The circular said GD for import of goods cannot be filed with Pakistan Customs unless the approved EIF has been attached with respective GD.
The import payments will be recorded in electronic import form module by the concerned bank through bank debit advice.
For imports made on open account basis, an importer will get the EIF approved from a bank before clearance of goods by Pakistan Customs.
The banks will continue to perform the due diligence and know-your-customer assessment of the importers according to the applicable instructions.
The authorised dealers may refuse to further approve EIF in case of outstanding import bills of an importer.
The customs authority will carry out the registration and deletion of the importers in its online tax system as per their prescribed procedure.
“The banks shall continue to perform customer due diligence and know your customer of the importers, being their account holders/customers, as per applicable instructions,” the circular said. “The authorised dealers may refuse to further approve electronic import form in case of outstanding import bills of an importer.”
Courtesy : TheNews