Lahore – The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) was directed to declare Sust as transit border and synchronize it all ports with Weboc System.
The direction was issued by the Ministry of Communications on the pointation of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
According to Office Memorandum of Ministry of Communications to the Federal Board of Revenue, the Board was asked to take necessary action for declaring Sust as transit border and all the clearance procedures at Sust and at other Ports may also be synchronized with Weboc System, if not done earlier.
As per LCCI letter written by its President Sheikh Muhammad Arshad, Pakistan made Quadrilateral agreement with China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan to facilitate trade and transport through its territory between Sust border and Karachi port, which is operational since 2004. A little Pakistani import and export cargoes are moving to/from Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan on Chinese trucks whereas Pakistani transport vehicles are not moving cargoes to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan via China at all.
Moreover, Kazakh, Kirghiz and Chinese goods are neither transiting through Pakistani ports nor any participating country’s vehicles transport transit goods due to the absence of regulatory framework. Till now, no Statutory Regulator Order (SRO) is issued to declare Sust as transit border by Customs Department to implement the quadrilateral agreement. Now the working on CPEC has also started and transporters are going to face similar problem at Gwadar and Kashgar. We are of the view that Sust should be declared a transit border for movement of goods under said agreement which will help to enhance trade activities between Pakistan, China, Kazakhstan and Kirghizstan.
Sheikh Muhammad Arshad said that Pakistan has already ratified UN Convention on the International Transport of Goods (TIR) to facilitate border trade and it has also ratified WTO’s trade facilitation agreement (TFA), which contains provision for expediting the movement, release and clearance of goods, including goods in transit. At present, Pakistan facilitates only Afghan transit goods through electronic GD filing but no other country (China, Kazakhstan and Kirghizstan) is given access to ports for transit of goods. In this regard, all the clearance procedures at Sust (and at other ports) should also be synchronized with Web Based One Customs (Weboc) to expedite the movement, release and clearance of transit goods.