RAWALPINDI -  The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) on Friday organised an awareness and interactive session on Electronic Import Form (EIF).

Exchange Policy Department Director Fazal Mehmood and his team led the meeting. RCCI President Raja Amer Iqbal, Senior Vice President Rashid Waien, Vice President Asim Malik, members of the executive committee, representatives from customs, commercial banks and a large number of exporters and importers also attended the session.

Addressing the session, Fazal said that State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has directed that all imports into Pakistan should be made compulsorily through Electronic Import Form (EIF) to curb illegal and duplicate payments of imports by unscrupulous elements. The SBP had a great respect for importers and exporters being the key stakeholder in bringing foreign exchange to Pakistan. He said dynamics of economy has now been changed and the SBP prime objective was to document the real time data of imports and exports through automation of import form.

The RCCI president said that chamber prior responsibility was to facilitate members and traders to address the key issues related to the EIF. He appreciated the SBP role for bringing awareness through interactive sessions and working towards the documentation of the economy.

 Under National Action Plan (NAP) it was necessary to abide the international laws related to the Know Your Customer (KYC), Anti-Money Laundering (AML), he added. However, the RCCI president showed concerns on less number of commercial branches in Rawalpindi dealing with imports of goods and suggested to set up a helping desk in respected branches.

The issue of third party payment, partial payment, minimum cash holding and rate of letter of credit (LC), must be rationalised and settled through the relevant stakeholders amicably, he added. He said the EIF will help to curb multiple payments against single consignment, fake and forge form and will improve forecasting/assessment of imports data.