ECC Approves Release of Stuck Vehicles

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has decided to release around 700 vehicles stuck at ports, waived recently imposed taxes of up to 128% and allowed importers to get their vehicles cleared by paying surcharges. The decision will also be applicable to other stuck goods that reached the country by 18th of August and were earlier allowed to be cleared but stayed on ports.

Federal Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail virtually presided over the ECC meeting from New York. According to the statement issued by the Ministry of Finance:

“The ECC considered a summary of the Ministry of Commerce on the clearance of stuck consignments and directed that the consignments of previously banned items that landed in Pakistan till August 18, 2022 may be released at the rate of surcharge.”

While lifting the ban on 19th August, the cabinet gave directives for releasing the goods lying at ports on the payment of surcharges and penalties on the basis of assessed value of the goods, in the range of 5% to 100%. The cabinet approved the imposition of regulatory duty to discourage their imports.

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An official of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) said that around 700 vehicles of various engine capacities were stuck at the port that could now be cleared by paying surcharges provided the cabinet also endorsed the ECC’s decision. The clearance of vehicles will give revenue of over Rs 2 billion to the FBR that is facing challenges in meeting monthly tax targets.

Last month, the cabinet allowed the release of held-up consignments of vehicles, mobile phones and home appliances on payment of 100% penalty. After that, the government targeted 49 tariff lines of vehicles with 10% to 100% regulatory duty and 7% to 28% additional customs duty. These duties had been waived on imports till August 18.

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New and old cars of up to 1,000cc that were earlier exempted from the regulatory duty have been targeted with 100% duty, bringing total import taxes to 150%. Vehicles that were earlier subject to 77% import taxes will now face taxes of 169% as the government has imposed 85% more regulatory duty and 7% additional customs duty.

However most expensive cars, both sports and high-engine capacity, have not been taxed heavily. These categories of vehicles were earlier subject to total duties of 197% at the import stage. Now, the government has imposed 28% additional customs duty and only 10% additional regulatory duty.

Full Story: The Express Tribune

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