FBR Issues Strict Procedure for Tracking of Import, Export Cargo

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has issued a strict procedure for the tracking and monitoring of a wide range of import/export cargo, on a real-time basis, including transit cargo, petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) products exported to Afghanistan, trans-shipment cargo, Export Processing Zones and Special Economic Zones or Free Zones.

The FBR issued Tracking and Monitoring of Cargo Rules, 2023 through a notification issued on Tuesday.

According to the new rules, the procedure shall apply to tracking and monitoring the following types of cargo throughout the journey from the port of entry to the port of exit or from one warehouse to another, on a real-time basis.

No cargo mentioned in these rules shall be transported from the Customs port of entry unless the tracking and monitoring devices have been installed on the containers and vehicles. The carrier and transport operator shall not be allowed to operate a vehicle unless a permanent tracking device is installed in the vehicle, rules said.

The applicant company shall be required to provide technological solutions on the basis of GSM or GPRS 5 or Satellite Communication or any other modem technology for monitoring and tracking of containers and vehicles carrying the cargo.

The licensees shall furnish, establish and maintain a section relating to performance monitoring of the licensed tracking companies in the Central Monitoring & Control Room (CMCR) in the Old Customs House, Karachi, or in any other control room designated by the Board. The monitoring section in CMCR shall be equipped with hardware, software, plasmas, LCDs, communication and other allied equipment for viewing, analyzing the movements of goods and vehicles and coordinating with the licensee’s control room or any other stakeholders in cases of alerts. The monitoring section in CMCR shall have necessary servers and data storage facilities to store and manage databases for the vehicles monitored daily, with report printing capabilities for each trip. The operators at the CMCR shall be able to receive the map or any section of it on any monitor from the control room of the licensee connected to the system based on pre-assigned priorities, the rules said.

The licensee”, shall provide the necessary infrastructure for establishing Mobile Enforcement Units (MEUs) including vehicles (4X4), adequate means of communications with the CMCR and licensees’ control room, respectively and routine maintenance activity (POL, repairs, etc). The Project Director shall convey to the licensee, the requirements of the Directorates of Transit Trade (HQ), in which the MEUs will be stationed at Transit Monitoring and Response Centers (TMRCs) and will be located on a shift rotation basis (24 hours and seven days a week), besides determining the total infrastructure required in terms of vehicles, and related resources.

The MEUs will be manned with adequate customs staff and in such manner as may be decided by the Director, Transit Trade (HQ). The licensee shall ensure the availability of the vehicles on a 24×7 basis as well as any supporting human resource. The MEUs shall be responsible for reacting in case any alert is communicated to them by licensees’ control rooms and shall coordinate with enforcement units of the licensee, new rules added.

The Project Director shall get the tracking and monitoring devices as well as the tracking system installed in vehicles, tested before use. On satisfaction, the Project Director shall allow the use of tracking and monitoring devices and the installation of a tracking system in the vehicles. The same procedure shall be followed in case a new device is introduced.

The licensee shall establish designated areas at the point of exit, which would be in proximity of the PCCSS office of Focal Point Exit, and shall be responsible for active and close liaison with it.

Reconciliation of each journey of container and vehicle shall be done, on a real-time basis, by the licensee and delays, unusual or unauthorized stoppages, discrepancies, etc. shall be reported at once. The licensee shalt generate reports in soft as well as hard form, covering details of the monthly reconciliation and alerts and results thereof for the Project Director.

To check and verify any of the eventualities en route, the customs squad of IVIEUs shall patrol the designated routes on which transit and transshipment cargo is plying. The mobile squad may check a vehicle in case it receives authentic information or has reasons to believe that the goods have been pilfered or lost. The squad shall report the eventuality to the CMCR, immediately. The Mobile Squad shall make an endorsement of the action taken with regard to cargo, the transport unit, etc, by feeding the information in the system, the new rules added.

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