The National Board of Revenue has decided to reinforce its post clearance audit system to facilitate trade by reducing time and cost of imports, officials said.
They said that customs officials would also get a final chance to detect tax evasion even after release of imported goods from ports if the PCA system was made effective.
The NBR has already instructed its field offices to strengthen the system which currently exists in the law with a little use in practice.
So, the revenue board has decided to modify the PCA system aligning with its risk management system to make the system more useful to traders, the officials said.
Currently, customs officials scrutinise all documents of selected import consignments based on some risk factors including nature of import and track record of importers and clearing agents under the PCA system after releasing the goods from the port, a customs official told New Age on March 16.
He said that the system was needed to facilitate trade and ensure prevention of revenue leakage as the volume of imports had been rapidly increasing in the country.
There is a possibility of making mistakes in assessing imported goods by customs officials during handling huge volume of goods, he said.
But the problem is that the revenue board has yet to adopt any policy for risk management and manual to conduct the PCA for smooth operation of the system.
So, filed-level customs offices follow their own ways to select files and conduct PCA.
In this context, the NBR has decided to modify the existing PCA system in line with the international best practices.
The NBR’s customs wing is now working on two PCA-related proposals put forward by the Asian Development Bank and the USAID.
In an internationally-recognised PCA system, a trusted importer can release his/her goods from port without facing any physical inspection of his/her consignment.
Customs officials will accept the documents furnished by the importer and give clearance for releasing the goods on condition that the importer will face audit after clearance known as PCA.
The customs authorities will allow the importer to avail the facility based on his/her previous compliance record that includes whether the trader earlier evaded any tax, made any false declaration and engaged in smuggling.
The PCA reduces time and cost of business as traders can release their goods immediately from port after import and don’t have to pay any port charge.
The customs will also be benefited as it reduces workload.
All the developed countries usually follow the PCA system to reduce hassle, time and cost of business.
There are two types of post clearance audit — transaction-based PCA and system-based PCA.
Asian Development Bank and USAID made two separate proposals to the NBR for introducing the PCA system and framing the audit manual.
Officials said that the NBR would have to operationalize its risk management system to categorise compliant and non-compliant traders and to authorise economic operator system for introducing the PCA.
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