Major amendments to Customs Act 1969 through Finance Bill


KARACHI: The Finance Bill 2018 has recommended major changes to Customs Act, 1969 to be implemented during the fiscal year 2018/2019.
The changes recommended to CUSTOMS ACT, 1969 (IV OF 1969) are as follow:
Clause 3(1) Seeks to amend section 2 to extend the Customs enforcement activities in the sea upto 24 nautical miles and to give special reference to local manufacturer in the definition of ‘person’.
Clause 3(2) Seeks to amend section 18 to restore powers to the Federal Government of levying regulatory duty and to exclude regulatory duty from the purview of obligations relating to multilateral agreement.
Clause 3(3) Seeks to amend section 19 to restore the powers to the Federal Government to exempt customs duty and to extend validity of notifications until 2019.
Clause 3(4) Seeks to insert new section 25AA to provide legal cover for utilizing any data obtained through mutual assistance agreements for the purpose of assessment and valuation.
Clause 3(5) Seeks to amend section 25C to empower Chief Collector instead of the Board to allow Collector to take over the imported goods.
Clause 3(6) Seeks to amend section 32 to meet the requirements of Trade Facilitation Agreement, where voluntarily payment is considered a mitigating factor for establishing a penalty.
Clause 3(7) Seeks to amend section 33 to fix time limitation for deciding of refund claim.
Clause 3(8) Seeks to amend section 42 to ensure provision of accurate and complete information of passenger in advance to thwart attempts of money laundering and currency smuggling.
Clause 3(9) Seeks to amend Section 55 with a view to make the shipping agents responsible for the dues charged and collected by them in connection with the discharge and delivery of goods.
Clause 3(10) Seeks to insert new section 83B in compliance with requirements under Trade Facilitation Agreement, which provides for release of imported goods on furnishing of bank guarantee or pay order against monetary penalties involved thereof.
Clause 3(11) Seeks to amend section 138 to allow the export of goods brought into a customs-station, where the consignee has dishonored his commitments.
Clause 3(12) Seeks to amend section 156 to bring non-compliance of electronic notices under 155M at par with section 26, and enhance penalties for pilferage, replacement enroute or in case transshipped goods failed to reach the port of destination
Clause 3(13) Seeks to amend section 182 to empower an officer or person authorized by the Collector or Director to take and hold possession of confiscated goods.
Clause 3(14) Seeks to insert a new sub-section in section 193A to empower Collector (Appeals) to grant stay against recovery of duty/taxes.
Clause 3(15) Seeks to amend section 194B to replace the word ‘Controller’ with ‘Director’ in consequence to the re-designation of the post after insertion of Section 3D.
Clause 3(16) Seeks to amend section 207 of the Act, to give special reference to Shipping Agents and for providing legal cover to the Shipping Rules already issued.
Clause 3(17) Seeks to insert a new section 212A to introduce Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme to meet the obligations of the Trade Facilitation Agreement.
Clause 3(18) Seeks to amend section 219 to provide an opportunity to the public for offering comments before entry into force of any rules to comply with the requirements of Trade Facilitation Agreement.
Clause 3(19) Seeks to insert new section 221B to validate levy and collection of regulatory duty already collected before decision of the Sindh High Court.
Clause 3(20) Seeks to amend First Schedule to the Customs Act, 1969 (IV of 1969), with the First Schedule to this Act.
Clause 3(21) Seeks to insert new entry 22C in the Third Schedule to the Customs Act, 1969 to empower Board to prescribe procedures for Authorised Economic Operator Programme.
Clause 3(22) Seeks to substitute Fifth Schedule to the Customs Act, 1969 (IV of 1969), with the Second Schedule to this Act.