Pakistan Customs have amended SRO 966(I)/202 dated 05-10-2020. As per the amendment, in rule 484-E, in sub-rule (1), of the Customs Rules, 2001, a proviso has been added to the effect that weighment of transit cargo shall not be carried out at the Torkham customs station till the completion of the Integrated Transit Trade Management System (ITTMS) Terminal.
This amendment has apparently been introduced to ease pressure at Torkham for the outbound transit cargo from Pakistan and the recent reports of huge backlog in the clearance of such cargo at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Transit movements under the APTTA have been characterized by occasional en route pilferage after being cleared from seaports in Karachi. However, in this instance transit trade facilitation and reduction of dwell time at borders appears to be prime consideration.
Pakistan Customs have floated draft amendments in the TIR Rules to facilitate and streamline traffic-in-transit to and from Pakistan under the UNECE's TIR Convention, 1975. The proposed amendments, inter alia, include -
- incorporation of 'Pakistan National Committee of International Chamber of Commerce (PNC-ICC Pakistan)' as a 'body';
- inclusion of insurance guarantee from an “A”rated insurance company in the term 'encashable guarantee';
- mandatory requirement for a TIR applicant to have sound financial standing, to be proved by bank statements and audited accounts and filed income tax returns. In case of a newly formed or converted entity to a private limited company, the applicant entity shall provide a certificate of sound financial standing, along with an undertaking to provide audited financial statements of three years subsequently;
- furnishing of a supplementary financial guarantee by the national guaranteeing association in the form of an insurance guarantee from an “A” rated insurance company for a sum of fifteen million rupees or defence saving certificates of equivalent amount in terms of clause (xxvi) of sub-rule (1) of Rule 689 of the Customs Rules, 2001, to the Director, Directorate of Transit Trade, Pakistan Customs, Karachi/
The amendments are aimed at refining the nascent TIR transit system in Pakistan, which has seen a little over 20 TIR cross-border movements so far since its inception a few years ago. The proposed amendments seek to remove the hardships in meeting the stringent TIR enrollment criteria for the aspirant logistics companies belonging to the informal or SME sectors.