The importers have been given a new facility to obtain an advance ruling from the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to resolve classification disputes between the customs officials at ports/airports and importers for accurate assessment of duties and taxes at the import stage.
The FBR’s Customs (Advance Ruling) Rules, 2020 has given this facility to the importers to have advance ruling well before the dispatch of the consignments from abroad. Through this system, the importers would know how much duties and taxes would be charged on a specific good by the customs before the start of the process of sending consignments to Pakistan.
Under this system, importers would know well before time about the duties and tax rates to be charged on the consignments to be imported into the country.
The FBR will issue Advance ruling in cases of classification of goods under the first schedule to the Customs Act, 1969; determination of origin of the goods under the rules of origin notified for bilateral and multilateral agreements; applicability of notifications issued in respect of duties under Customs Act, 1969 or any tax or duty chargeable under any of the law for the time being in force in the same manner as duty of customs applicable under this Customs Act.
The applicant desirous of obtaining an advance ruling under these rules may make an application on the prescribed format (Annex-A& B) to the secretary Advance Ruling Committee, stating the question on which the advance ruling is sought. An undertaking to the effect that, to the best of the applicant’s knowledge, no issues concerning the goods for which a ruling is sought, is pending before any customs office or port of entry or before any adjudicating authority, tribunal or court.
All requisite information and documents should be attached with the application. “Advance Ruling Committee” means a committee constituted under the rules by Board, headed by a customs officer of BS-21 and comprising of two customs officers of BS-20 as members and a customs officer of BS-19 as secretary.
A permanent secretariat with as much staff as required shall also be established and notified by the Board for meetings of the committee in this regard.
The committee shall be empowered to co-opt any officer of Customs other than those notified by the Board and representative of trade body/association for assistance, FBR added.
The Committee may direct the applicant to appear in person or through his authorized representative before the Committee to present their viewpoint and to address any queries of the Committee. The Committee will pass the order within 90 days from receipt of the application with all requisite documents.
A ruling passed by the Committee shall be binding on the applicant unless the applicant prefers an appeal as per rule 797 of the rules. Provided that a ruling issued by the committee shall be binding on the customs for a period of one year unless there is a change in fact or circumstances on the basis of which the advance ruling was pronounced. The applicant may file an appeal with the Member Customs (Policy) within thirty days of the ruling.
The Member Customs (Policy) after examining the record of the proceedings and appeal application will pass an appropriate order within sixty days, from the date of filing of an appeal or within such extended period (maximum 30 days) as the Member Customs (Policy) may for reasons to be recorded in Writing extend, confirm, modify or annul the decision or order appealed against and after giving an opportunity of hearing to the appellant: Provided that during the appeal period of thirty days the operation of ruling shall remain suspended unless the applicant accepts the ruling.
Where the Committee finds on its own or on a representation made to it by the customs or otherwise that an advance ruling pronounced by it under sub-section (1) of Section 212 B of the Customs Act, 1969 has been obtained by the applicant by providing incomplete, incorrect, false or misleading information, it may revoke, modify or invalidate the ruling with retrospective effect and thereupon all the provisions of this Act shall apply to the applicant as if such advance ruling had never been made.