KARACHI: Tax authorities have made installation of tracking and monitoring devices mandatory on all vehicles carrying cargoes from Afghanistan for transit trade from February 1, 2020, an official said on Friday.
“Presently, the consignments are not containerised and also tracking devices are not installed on vehicles carrying the goods,” an official at Pakistan Customs said.
“Therefore, it is decided that from February 1, 2020 all export goods (except fresh fruits and vegetables) from Afghanistan, in transit whether by seaports or land customs stations across Pakistan, would be in containers of international specifications and would also be secured through tracking device and seals of Pakistan Customs.”
The official said installation of tracking device decision has been taken in compliance with Afghan-Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement 2010.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) introduced “Tracking and Monitoring of Cargo Rules, 2012” some eight years back to streamline the process of transportation of Afghan transit and transshipment cargo and to prevent the use of unauthorised vehicle, transport units, bogies and oil tankers.
The official said the transit cargo had to be transported in containers of international specification as per customs laws. The trucks have to be secured through tracking devices, installed by the tracking company licensed by the FBR.
Earlier this month, Directorate General of Transit Trade of Pakistan Customs intimated changes to all concerned, including Customs clearing agents, terminal operators, shipping agents, bonded carriers, transport operators and other stakeholders to streamline Afghan Transit Trade.
Trade officials viewed that the Afghan transit trade is negatively affecting Pakistan’s economy and is the basic components of black economy in the country.
The government is also working on various proposals to introduce amendments in the Transit Trade Agreement to control the pilferages in movement of goods.
According to data flow of cargoes rose 44 percent to 93,732 containers in 2018-19 from 60,516 containers in the preceding year under Afghan Transit Trade. The assessed import value of the transit cargoes also grew a robust 55 percent to $5.715 billion in 2018-19 from $3.97bn a year earlier.
Pakistan has allowed 75 percent of Afghan transit consignments through green channel immediately upon filing of goods declaration. Of the remainder, 20 percent cargo requiring scanning will be cleared in two days and 5 percent in three days.