Transshipment of containers and bulk cargo: Shipping lines required to submit indemnity bond

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has made it mandatory for the shipping lines engaged in the business of international transshipment of containers and bulk cargo to submit an indemnity bond to the customs for ensuring to follow Customs rules and regulations of the FBR. The FBR has amended Customs Rules 2001 through a notification issued here on Thursday. Under the new rules, the FBR has also directed the shipping lines that in case of any hazardous material left at the port, the concerned shipping line shall have the responsibility to take the cargo back to the port of origin.

The FBR has also issued a procedure for the transshipment of imported cargo from gateway port to a foreign port. The following procedure is prescribed for the movement of the International Transshipment (IT) cargo other than LCL cargo through any sea port in Pakistan, which shall be distinctly manifested as such in the IGM or carrier declaration uploaded electronically in the Customs Computerized System by the shipping line (VOCCs/NVOCCs) having valid shipping agent licences. Such manifest shall necessarily include the following information including port of loading; via port (name of the transshipment port of Pakistan); port of destination (final port of discharge at foreign destination); bill of lading (B/L) No; name of foreign exporter; name of foreign importer; weight; seal No; and container No.

The FBR has also issued procedure for shipping lines to deal with the delay in clearance of transshipment goods. The International Transhipment (IT) goods shall not be subject to payment of import or export duties and taxes provided the activities are in conformity with these rules. If the goods stored for transshipment are not transshipped within 30 days of their arrival, a notice shall be sent to the shipping line or its agent on the address given in the shipping documents for transshipment of goods from the port.

An extension of up to 30 days may be granted for the storage of such goods once a written request mentioning the reasons for delay in removal of goods is submitted to the concerned assistant collector of Customs and such a request is approved by him. If goods still remain on the port after 60 days of their arrival, the shipping line shall be responsible to remove them immediately, unless the delay is attributed to the port authorities. The goods shall only be allowed for auction or destruction by approval of the concerned Collector of Customs, who shall only allow it in extraordinary conditions, where the shipping line shows its complete inability to ship them out.

The said reasons shall be recorded in writing.

In case of any hazardous material left at the port, the concerned shipping line shall have the responsibility to take the cargo back to the port of origin, the FBR added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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