Imported items without retail price tag given clearance

Updated July 16, 2019

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The FBR also clarified that no sales tax has been imposed on wheat flour in any form — aata, maida or suji. — APP/File
The FBR also clarified that no sales tax has been imposed on wheat flour in any form — aata, maida or suji. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue has allowed the clearance of imported items without the condition of printing retail price or affixing stickers to avoid blockage of imports and congestion at the ports.

A sales tax general order issued on Monday said that the clearance of imported items under the third schedule will be subject to conditions that the goods’ declaration is filed by July 31 and the importer declares retail price for each of the imported items in terms of section 2(27) of the Sales Tax Act, 1990 and goods are assessed for sales tax on such declared retail price.

Through Finance Act 2019, the government has introduced the requirement of printing retail price on imported third schedule items. The importers did not take notice of the change and a large number of consignments of such items are arriving without printing retail price and de-stuffing of containers on affix stickers in the prescribed manner was not practical.

No sales tax on wheat flour

The FBR also clarified that no sales tax has been imposed on wheat flour in any form — aata, maida or suji.

A circular issued on Monday to explain the amendments introduced through Finance Act 2019 in the Sales Tax Act categorically stated that no sales tax was imposed on flour.

The FBR has directed all chief commissioners of income tax to take up the matter with the quarters concerned in order to do away with the confusion on the issue.

According to the circular, serial number 19 of table 1 of the sixth schedule of Sales Tax Act has been amended through the Finance Act 2019 to withdraw exemption on those milling products other than wheat and meslin flours that are sold in retail packing bearing brand name or trademark.

However, this amendment did not affect the exemption already available to wheat flour which remains unaltered by sales tax under this serial, even if it is packed or sold under a brand name.

Further, through Finance Act 2019, a new serial number 59 was added to table-1 of eighth schedule, whereby sales tax at reduced rate of 10 per cent has been imposed on the products of milling industry except wheat and meslin flour if sold in retail packing under a brand name or trademark. This also excludes wheat flour and therefore is inapplicable to the commodity, added the circular.

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2019