FTO Directs FBR to Suspend License of Ocean Pacific Shipping Line

Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has directed the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to cancel or suspend the license of a shipping line for non-issuance of “Delivery Order/NOC” despite receipt of detention charges for release of imported consignment.

In this regard, the FTO issued an order against M/s Ocean Pacific Shipping Line here on Friday.

This Complaint was filed against the Collector, Collectorate of Customs (Appraisement-West), Customs House, Karachi and Collectorate of Customs Enforcement (Ports) for the delay in the release of the Complainant’s consignments/goods.

Precisely, facts of the case are that the Complainant imported Silico Manganese chemical valuing $59400- (Rs. 18.414 million). However, the consignments could not be cleared due to a shortage of Dollars and difficulty in L/C. The Complainant had to pay heavy demurrage charges to the Shipping Line amounting to Rs. 2.517 million, Rs. 0.139 million, and Rs. 0.240 million. The Complainant had also paid Customs Duty amounting to Rs. 4.543 million. The Complainant, time and again, approached the Shipping Lines for issuance of Delivery Order/NOC but they refused to issue the same even though all the detention charges had been paid to the Shipping Line. The Customs Authorities had also failed to redress the Complainant’s grievance.

It is pertinent to mention here that at the time of import, the one US$ was equal to Rs. 310/- and now the same is equal to Rs. 280. The Complainant had to bear heavy loss due to the negligence of the Customs officials. The Complainant prayed that the Customs Authorities be directed to release the consignments/goods. It was further prayed that the extra charges paid to the Shipping Line may be returned to the Complainant.

FTO order said that it is evident that the Complainant has paid the detention charges as per the invoice issued by Ocean Pacific Shipping Lines as per the advice of Principal Shipping Lines, therefore, there is no basis for holding the Complainant’s consignment on one pretext or the other.

However, the Chief Collector and the Collector of Customs Enforcement (Ports), Karachi have also failed to resolve the Complainant’s grievance. The Principal Shipping Lines’ email clearly shows that they will not charge Detention to the consignee/Complainant, the Shipper will take care of the detention part.

However, the Shipping Line asked the Complainant to deposit Rs. 2.517 million for the issuance of DO/NOC which is also a misconception on part of the Shipping Line. The Shipping Lines also failed to honor their obligations and did not issue DO/NOC to enable the Complainant to release his consignments. The Shipping Line has violated the provisions of Customs Rules, therefore, the Licensing Authority may revoke or suspend its license for violation of the Rules.

Failure of the Chief Collector/Collector of Customs Enforcement (Ports) Department not to take any legal action against the Shipping Line/Shipper for not discharging their obligations and non-issuance of DO/NOC despite receipt of detention charges as per invoice dated 5 January 2024, tantamount to maladministration in terms of Section 2(3) of the FTO Ordinance, 2000, FTO order maintained.

FTO has finally recommended the FBR to direct the Chief Collector, Collectorate of Customs (Enforcement-South), Customs House, Karachi to initiate proceedings against the Customs officers and officials responsible for failure to resolve the genuine issue of the Complainant and direct the relevant Collectorate to release Complainant’s goods immediately without any fail after payment of port charges and fulfillment of legal requirements.

The FBR will also direct the Collector, Collectorate of Customs Enforcement (Ports) to issue directions to the concerned Shipping Lines for issuance of DO/NOC to enable the Complainant to release his goods after payment of port charges or revoke its license after issuing proper SCN for violation of Rule 665(1) (b)(d)(g) of the Customs Rules and also direct it to return Rs. 2.517 million illegally received as detention from the Complainant despite the Principal Shipping Lines emails dated 30.11.2023 clearly stating that the Shipping Lines will not charge Detention to the Complainant.

FBR should also direct the Collector, Collectorate of Customs (Appraisement-West) to issue a Delay and Detention Certificate to the Complainant, FTO order added.

Follow ProPakistani on Google News & scroll through your favourite content faster!

Support independent journalism

If you want to join us in our mission to share independent, global journalism to the world, we’d love to have you on our side. If you can, please support us on a monthly basis. It takes less than a minute to set up, and you can rest assured that you’re making a big impact every single month in support of open, independent journalism. Thank you.

Get Alerts

Follow ProPakistani to get latest news and updates.

ProPakistani Community

Join the groups below to get latest news and updates.