The National Board of Revenue has asked customs houses to refrain from allowing the unauthorised revenue officers (ROs) and assistant revenue officers (AROs) to conduct customs assessment using the Asycuda World System.
The revenue board on Sunday issued a set of directives to the customs houses in this connection after detecting irregularities in customs assessment by a section of ROs and AROs using the system.
Expressing deep concern over the irregularities, the customs wing of the NBR said that the customs houses were supposed to assign a RO or ARO in the system for a specific bill of entry to conduct the customs assessment of imported goods and ensure duty collection from the assignments.
Only assigned RO or ARO is responsible to conduct the customs assessment of the bill of entry using the system, it said.
But it has been found that other revenue officials, except the assigned one, have been performing the responsibilities without any reason, it added.
The practice creates room and risk of duty evasion, according to the directive.
No customs houses have brought the practice to the attention of the revenue board although the system was introduced in 2013, it said.
As per directives, customs houses should not allow unauthorised revenue officials to conduct customs assessment without any valid reason.
It also set a specific process on reassignment of ROs and AROs to carry out the customs assessment to ensure transparency in the Asycuda World system and check duty evasion.
Unapproved reassignment may cause loss of revenue due to illegal nexus between officials and importers, officials said.
They said that customs officials would be able to reassign the responsibility following a specific process.
The officials concerned will have to take prior written approval from the assistant or deputy commissioner of the customs house, explaining the reason for reassignment, they said.
The reassignment process, however, will have to be included in the Inspection Act or information page of Asycuda world system, according to the directive.
Reassignment not having prior approval or without a solid reason will be considered as misconduct, it said.
Assessment officer, approval officer and supervising officer will be held responsible personally and officially if the government loses revenue due to reassignment, it added.
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