FBR Tightens Regulations for Customs Agents Seeking Licenses

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has tightened regulations for new customs agents seeking licenses to conduct customs business in Pakistan.

The FBR notified SRO1764(I)/2022 in this regard on Monday to issue draft amendments to the Customs Rules, 2001. Under the amended regulations, the eligibility criterion now also includes a sound financial record, duly verified by a bank.

The licensing authority shall put in place a mechanism to scrutinize the applications received and shortlist the eligible candidates.

The list of eligible candidates shall be forwarded to Pakistan Customs Academy (PCA) to arrange a qualification test to ascertain the knowledge of the applicants in Customs law, rules and procedures, and computer literacy. A simulation test shall also be conducted to ascertain the aptitude of the applicant for WeBOC and PSW, FBR revised rules stated.

The examination shall be conducted for at least a year by the PCA in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta, and Peshawar. Each applicant shall deposit a fee of Rs. 10,000 for examination-related expenses in the respective account of the Director General PCA. Further logistics support shall be provided by the Enforcement Collectorates of the respective center of examination.

The Licensing Authority, on fulfilling all the conditions under these rules, may grant a non-transferable license for a period initially of two years which shall be renewable after every two years subject to the prescribed conditions.

Subject to fulfillment of the conditions provided for eligibility of the applicant, change of status of the firm from proprietorship or partnership to the company shall be allowed on submission of registration certificate with Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) under the Companies Act, 2017 after successfully passing the interview to be conducted by the licensing authority or any officer authorized in this behalf.

The applicant shall provide a sales tax registration certificate before issuance of the license or shall upload it into the system against a checkbox. A smart card shall be issued in substitution for the existing license booklet, having all the following requisite information including license holder name with photograph, license type partnership, proprietorship or Associations of Person (AoP), issuance and expiry date, ID card number, and National Tax Number (NTN) of the licensee.

In case of self-clearance, the principal may apply for transaction-based or entity-based approval by the licensing authority or a designated officer not below the rank of Assistant Collector by declaring the names and particulars of his employee or representatives authorized by him in this regard, FBR revised rules added.