From YOUSAF RAFIQ
Special Correspondent, Islamabad.
Dec 27, 1999 - Jan 02, 2000
The Central Board of Revenue on Monday issued the procedure for
reversion of assessment procedure of cars from single consolidated duty structure under
section 18 of the Finance Act 1999 back to the customs tariff. The Board also announced
the new procedure for one time amnesty to smuggled vehicles in the same order. This
facility will also be available to those owners of cars that have already been
confiscated. Owners of such cars will be intimated of their customs duty liability, and be
given possession of their vehicle upon proof of payment. Vehicles brought under
carnet-de-passage and illegally retained in the country will also be covered by the
CBR said the amnesty scheme to regularise the non-duty paid vehicles
already plying in the country would be available on one-time basis subject to the
condition that duties and taxes are paid by January 31, 2000 without any redemption fine.
Vehicles under this scheme will enjoy depreciation facility in terms of CGO 4 of 1993.
According to the new procedure, the smuggled vehicles will be presented
to the concerned Assistant Collector of customs or any other officer appointed by the
Collector with an application to avail the benefit of this scheme while declaring the
specifications and other relevant information about the smuggled vehicle. On receipt of
such application, the vehicle will be examined/assessed by the customs staff in accordance
with the prescribed procedure and a proper assessment sheet will be prepared. The person
concerned will be made aware of the duty and taxes involved in writing. The new procedure
provides that the subject vehicle will remain in the custody of the Customs Department
till government dues are paid.
Separate record will be maintained for the vehicles assessed under the
subject scheme and in those Collectorates where normal import of vehicles and assessment
thereof is computerized, the record of the vehicles under this scheme will be maintained
in computerized form as well.
In case of those smuggled vehicles which have already been confiscated
and right of redemption allowed against payment of fine or outrightly confiscated,
assessment of taxes should be made and intimated to the owner if he so requests. The
Collectors have been instructed to reopen cases if the taxes are paid by January 31, 2000
in case vehicles in question have not been auctioned or period of limitation under section
195 of the Customs Act has not expired. In case decided by the Collector (Appeals) the
Collector will review the case on being approached by the aggrieved person.
The benefit of the scheme would be extended to cases that are pending
in the Appellate Tribunal as well. In such cases, the Collectors have been directed to act
on an application of the owner of a smuggled car to allow assessment of duty and taxes. If
the government dues are paid by January 31, 2000 the Collectorate will inform the Tribunal
that the Federal Government has no objection if the Tribunal allows release of the vehicle
on payment of duty and taxes without any fine and penalty.