KARACHI - 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.

In this regard, it was observed that due to peculiar nature of trade with Afghanistan through land routes, especially via Torkham and Chaman borders, Pakistani importers were facing difficulties to carry out import transactions through ElF.

In order to address these difficulties and to facilitate traders of the above regions, the procedure for registration of contracts and payments has been simplified.

Now, the requirement for routing of shipping documents against registered contract through banks shall not be mandatory for imports from Afghanistan through land routes.

The Pakistani importers may now directly receive shipping documents from the Afghani exporters and get the goods cleared after attachment of Goods Declaration(s) with EIF. Once the importer gets the contract registered and ElF approved with the bank for multiple shipments, the importers shall not be required to approach the bank again and again for approval of EIF, said a statement issued by the central bank on Monday. The relaxation is expected to provide manifold benefits to the importers of above region by reducing their cost of doing business and efficient processing of goods clearance at Customs Stations bordering Afghanistan.