Pakistan’s Anti-smuggling move, retailers to be fined, punished

Mobile phones smuggled

Pakistan’s Anti-smuggling move, retailers to be fined, punished

ISLAMABAD, (June 13, 2021): Extraordinary steps have been taken to eradicate smuggling from Pakistan. Under these measures, the FBR will have the power to impose fines and punish retailers selling smuggled goods and products.

Retailers will be required to show receipts for items purchased from regular wholesalers upon request by the tax authorities.

Under the proposed penalties for retailers, if a person possesses smuggled goods without a legal excuse, goods will be confiscated and he will be fined ten times the amount of the seized goods. If it exceeds Rs 300,000, the Special Judge can sentence him six years imprisonment and a fine of ten times the value of the confiscated property.

Among other anti-smuggling measures, shipping lines will be responsible for re-exporting imported goods on a commercial basis.

The Finance Bill also proposed cash rewards for customs officers and law enforcement personnel.

Value of smuggled commodities

A study published in November 2020, the top dozen commodities smuggled into the country generate as much as $3.3 billion a year, the study underscored.

However, the law enforcement, FBR and other regulatory bodies of the Pakistan are only able to seize only 5% of the goods smuggled.

Which goods are smuggled into Pakistan?

The smuggled goods have penetrated several sectors of Pakistan’s economy. These range from cellphones and fuel to daily-use items like toiletries and tea, report said.

Interesting to note that around 74% of cellphones sold in Pakistan were smuggled items.

The report further said 53% of diesel, 43% of engine oil, 40% of tyres and 16% of auto parts sold in the country were smuggled.

The report pointed out that 53% of toiletries sold in Pakistan were smuggled, as was 23% of tea and 20% of cigarettes.

Medical drugs worth Rs44 billion were also smuggled into Pakistan.

Though Pakistan is among the top cotton producing country, but 300,000 tonnes of textiles were also smuggled into Pakistan, the report revealed.