Commercial importers and traders said that they have agreed to pay sales tax at retail price but the same should not be collected at import stage but at the time of delivery of goods to the retailers. These views were expressed by the commercial importers and traders during 4th meeting of the FPCCI standing committee on Customs Agents, which was chaired by vice president FPCCI Arshad Jamal and convener Muhammad Sajid at Federation House here.
In federal budget 2019-20, the government has included finished articles in the Third Schedule of Sales Tax Act, 1990, showing its intention to aggressively discourage commercial imports and ease the pressure from import bill.
According to a circular issued by Pakistan Customs, as per the measures taken through federal budget 2019-20, the items listed in Third Schedule of Sales Tax Act, 1990 shall now be assessed at the retail price at the import stage.
The customs department also directed that retail prices should also be printed on each individual item in the manner as specified clause (a) of sub-section (2) of the section 3 of the Sales Tax Act 1990. However, during the interim period up to July 31, 2019, the clearance may also be allowed if the imported items are affixed with sticker, showing declared retail price.
Arshad Jamal said that this amendment has spread panic among the commercial importers, who were reluctant to get released consignments from ports; adding that commercial importers before the said amendment cleared their consignment as per customs value however, now they had been directed to print retail prices on each individual item and the customs department would now clear consignments on the basis of declared retail price, putting excessive burden of additional packaging cost on the importers.