China shares data to check misdeclaration

Published December 13, 2018
Customs officials term development as a big breakthrough, but are cautious about how much this exchange of information will help in minimising the evasion of taxes on tradable goods with China. ─ Reuters/File
Customs officials term development as a big breakthrough, but are cautious about how much this exchange of information will help in minimising the evasion of taxes on tradable goods with China. ─ Reuters/File

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has received three-month data from China’s customs authority for goods being exported to Pakistan to address under-invoicing and duty evasions.

Customs officials are terming this a big breakthrough, but are very cautious to estimate how much this exchange of information will help in minimising the evasion of taxes on tradable goods with China.

State Minister for Revenue, Hammad Azhar, broke the news through a tweet that the first batch of trade prices data was received by FBR from China’s customs authority. He was approached for details several times but did not comment.

The country’s exports to China jumped to $1.74 billion in 2017-18 from $575 million in 2006-07 while imports from the same have soared to around $15.7bn in 2017-18 versus $3.5bn in 2006-07. However, many official and unofficial studies have also confirmed discrepancies within the range of $3-6bn due to mis-declaration in reported data.

A well-placed source in the FBR told Dawn that the data received pertained to the period July-September. It was received electronically through web-based one customs (Weboc) connected with Chinese system.

Pakistan was demanding the exchange of real-time data from China especially after the operationalisation of free trade agreement but Beijing was reluctant to entertain this request.

On April 30, Pakistan and China implemented the Electronic Data Exchange system to effectively address discrepancies found in the exchange of information. However, the system came into operation only after the countries signed a memorandum of understanding in Prime Minister Imran Khan’s last China visit.

Both sides agreed to exchange information on a quarterly basis regarding exports in a bid to curb mis-declaration of goods and under-invoicing.

Official sources told Dawn that data received includes information regarding the certificate of origin of products and their tariff-wise values.

In the last budget, Customs Act was amended to empower a customs officer to utilise data received from other countries in assessing the correct values of imports.

There is a good chance that customs duty collection will grow up on goods imported from China, now that data has been received. 

Published in Dawn, December 13th, 2018

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

A state of chaos

A state of chaos

The establishment’s increasingly intrusive role has further diminished the credibility of the political dispensation.

Editorial

Bulldozed bill
Updated 22 May, 2024

Bulldozed bill

Where once the party was championing the people and their voices, it is now devising new means to silence them.
Out of the abyss
22 May, 2024

Out of the abyss

ENFORCED disappearances remain a persistent blight on fundamental human rights in the country. Recent exchanges...
Holding Israel accountable
22 May, 2024

Holding Israel accountable

ALTHOUGH the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor wants arrest warrants to be issued for Israel’s prime...
Iranian tragedy
Updated 21 May, 2024

Iranian tragedy

Due to Iran’s regional and geopolitical influence, the world will be watching the power transition carefully.
Circular debt woes
21 May, 2024

Circular debt woes

THE alleged corruption and ineptitude of the country’s power bureaucracy is proving very costly. New official data...
Reproductive health
21 May, 2024

Reproductive health

IT is naïve to imagine that reproductive healthcare counts in Pakistan, where women from low-income groups and ...