Form-E condition for exports up to $5,000 goes

Published December 3, 2020
The central bank issued a detail regulatory framework to facilitate Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-Commerce exports from Pakistan. — File
The central bank issued a detail regulatory framework to facilitate Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-Commerce exports from Pakistan. — File

KARACHI: The State Bank on Wednesday remo­ved the condition of filling the lengthy Form-E for small exporters in a bid to boost exports amid the Covid-19 pandemic and changing global consumer markets.

The central bank issued a detail regulatory framework to facilitate Business-to-Consumer (B2C) e-Commerce exports from Pakistan.

Under the new regulatory framework, the mandatory requirement of the ‘Export’ (E) form has been done away with and now an exporter can send goods up to $5000 per consignment abroad without this document, said the SBP.

This step will facilitate exports in small quantities directly to the consumers. This will also help small entrepreneurs and exporters who typically export varied goods in small quantities and find it cumbersome to fulfill the detailed requirements of the Form-E that is mainly designed for bulk exports.

Move to facilitate small exporters, boost exchequer

The Form-E was required for each shipment with complete description of the goods being exported and has been designed keeping in view the export of large quantities of homogenous goods. However, for exports of small value, different items to individuals destined for different jurisdiction, (as is the case in B2C e-commerce exports) the existing process was not conducive.

The SBP said that up till now, goods from Pakistan could only be exported after certification of electronic or manual Form-E by the Authorised Dealers (ADs) and subsequent filing of Goods Declaration by the customers with Pakistan Customs.

Earlier in 2000, the SBP had issued regulatory instructions to promote B2C e-Commerce — in Foreign Exchange Manual — with primary focus on opening of Internet Merchant Account to facilitate e-commerce.

However, with the advancement in technology, these instructions needed to cater to the current business dynamics of e-commerce and therefore required to be replaced, said the SBP.

“The SBP collaborated with the relevant stakeholders including business community, Pakistan Customs, Ministry of Commerce, courier companies and banking industry in a bid to develop a regulatory framework, which not only addresses the market needs but also takes into account regulatory objectives,” said bank said.

“Global emerging trends especially in the consumer market place have seen a major shift from traditional market place to e-commerce due to the advent of new technologies. A surge in this trend was particularly witnessed during the global lockdown owing to Covid-19 pandemic,” the SBP said.

In line with these trends, the SBP focused on facilitating cross border trade for B2C exports from Pakistan, including by small entrepreneurs and exporters. This was aimed at improving competitiveness and digital connectivity of Pakistani businesses with the global market during the development phase of e-Commerce Policy, the central bank added.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2020

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