LAHORE-Chief Collector Customs Appraisement Dr Fareed Iqbal Qureshi called on LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh and Senior Vice President Ali Hussam Asghar on Wednesday. Convener Standing Committee on Imports & Customs Affairs Muhammad Arshad Bhatti, former Vice President Zeshan Khalil, Fiaz Haider, Aaqib Asif and Shahid Nazir were also present.

Various issues including customs, facilitation to the business community, establishment of help desk, undue GD filing and harassment of businessmen came under discussion.

The chief collector said that facilitating the business community was top priority of the collectorate. He said that customs appraisement has worked hard to ensure minimum time in clearance of goods and articles and easy registration of firms.

He added that human interference due to the proper implementation of WeBOC has been reduced significantly thereby decreasing the cost of doing business. He said that forthnightly meetings would be held with the LCCI office-bearers to address the issues of its members.

Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that customs department and the business community have to work closely for carrying out business activity. He said that importers were facing various problems while transporting goods from the ports to their warehouses. He said that consignments once cleared by Customs should not be checked time and again during transportation.

He said that unnecessary delays in clearance of goods should be minimized to save businesses from incurring financial losses. The government should take steps to control smuggling at the borders. 

“Our members complain that sometimes their shipments are assessed for valuation on retail price of imported commodities which is higher than the wholesale price. The Customs officials must understand that containers are booked in bulk and cut-rate prices are mentioned in import documents”, he said.

He said that Valuation Officers apply different parameters while assessing the valuation of separate import consignments containing similar items. “This results in lack of uniformity. We are of the view that this issue has to be addressed on priority basis. Moreover, input from the importers of upcountry areas should also be sought and the same should be communicated to DG Valuation Karachi for implementation of the same in true spirit”, he said.