LAHORE: Dr Mubashir Baig, Collector of Customs Appraisement, Lahore has assured exporters of maximum assistance and facilitation by Pakistan Customs in export of goods to overseas markets.  

Addressing a workshop on Export Facilitation Scheme, 2021 organized for member mills of All Pakistan Textile Mills Association (Aptma), he said that Export Facilitation Scheme, 2021 is aimed at facilitating the export-oriented sector to acquire duty and tax-free local and imported inputs in order to make Pakistani products competitive vis-a-vis other regional competitors.   

Explaining salient features of the scheme, Dr Baig said that for the first time the scheme has been extended to all direct and indirect exporters, common export houses, vendors and international toll manufacturers with free mobility of goods from one user to another user.

He added that the whole procedure and maintenance of record under the scheme is fully digitalized with the least human interference. All communication between customers and exporters would be regulated through the Customs software WeBOC and Pakistan Single Window.   He said acquisition of goods under the scheme would be subjected to the authorization of inputs by the Collector of Customs and Director-General Input-Output Organization (IOCO). However, in case such input output ratio has already been approved, no fresh determination of the ratio would be acquired.    He said every exporter can now import or procure locally all sorts of raw materials, spare parts, components, equipment, plant, and machinery under the Scheme, as no duty and taxes would be levied on inputs imported by the authorized users. Similarly, he underlined that local supplies of inputs to authorized users are also zero-rated. He informed the participants that keeping in view the frequent fluctuations in volatile global markets, utilization period has now been allowed up to five years. Similarly, import of duty and tax-free machinery has been allowed to manufacture export goods without the condition of any percentage of export of the manufactured goods.   

According to him, Common Export Houses are allowed to import inputs duty and tax-free and supply to exporters, especially Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs), as one prime purpose is to encourage new entrants and SMEs.   

Dr Baig said the Scheme has also encouraged the concept of International Toll Manufacturing to provide for toll manufacturing in Pakistan which would promote international branding of goods. He added that the exporters have been relieved of frequent audits by tax functionaries. To facilitate the exporters, the concept of unified audit for all taxes has been introduced for users of the scheme.   

Earlier, welcoming the Collector of Customs, Chairman Aptma Northern Zone Hamid Zaman appreciated the FBR for introducing a well-envisaged Export Facilitation Scheme to enable the exporters to deal with the ongoing economic crunch in the post-Covid-19 scenario. He hoped that exporters would fully avail the scheme and make maximum use of the concession and benefits allowed for the first time by the government to foster exporters. He said that the textile sector of Pakistan is currently in the mode of expansion to increase exports.

He mentioned that investment of $ 5 billion and an addition of 100 new plants in textile sector would not only provide additional 500,000 jobs in the country but would also help to achieve the current year textile export target of $ 21 billion.