‘Trade suspension will not apply to shipments in pipeline’

Updated August 17, 2019

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A truck carrying goods crosses into Indian territory at Wagah border. Bilateral trade between the two neighbours reached around $2.2bn in 2017 but the trade ties collapsed after India changed Occupied Kashmir’s status.
A truck carrying goods crosses into Indian territory at Wagah border. Bilateral trade between the two neighbours reached around $2.2bn in 2017 but the trade ties collapsed after India changed Occupied Kashmir’s status.

ISLAMABAD: The Commerce Division on Friday clarified that the trade suspension decision with India will not apply to those shipments already in the pipeline before the announcement.

A week after the issuance of notifications, the division in an official statement said that the trade suspension decision will not affect all those shipments for which letters of credit or bill of lading have been issued prior to Aug 9.

Two different notifications were issued soon after the cabinet meeting to implement the decision to suspend bilateral trade with India with immediate effect and until further orders. As per notification SRO928 of 2019, all kind of exports to India have been suspended by amending the Export Policy Order 2016.

According to an office order issued said that the business community of Pakistan has been approaching the Commerce Division for clarification regarding the scope and date of the implementation of the SROs.

For facilitating the business community, it has also been announced that the subject SROs did not affect trade under the Afghanistan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA) 2010.

Moreover, the concerns have been raised that suspension trade with India might result into increase in smuggling of Indian goods, import of Indian origin goods by misdeclaration through third countries and smuggling under the APTTA.

Addressing these concerns the Federal Board of Revenue has been directed to take necessary enforcement measures to prevent misdeclaration and smuggling, the Commerce Division said.

It hinted that an effective anti-smuggling campaign may be launched immediately against smuggled Indian goods that may be available in the markets across the country.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2019