Importers facing financial loss

2 June 2003

The All Pakistan Hides and Skin Importers Association (Aphsia) has asked the government to abolish the customs department's valuation committee for the zero rated imports, as it has nothing to do as far as import duty is concerned. This request follows the official decision to allocate zero duty on imported hides and skin, and Mr Arshad alleged the valuation committee creates undue harassment for the importers, adding in an interview: 'Our consignments, which usually comprise perishable items, are delayed for up to 25 days. As a result importers not only face financial loss, but the national exchequer also has to suffer loss because most of the manufacturers fail to meet their export orders due to late release. We import at least 50 containers of hides and skin per month from Tanzania, Kenya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and from some countries of Europe and South America. Out of total imports of goat and sheepskin, 99% are value-added for export purpose. Similarly, 90% of total hide imports are value-added and thus our business community contributes substantial foreign exchange to the national exchequer.' He added that officials of different government departments are using negative tactics to harass the business community, while Sales Tax Department officials use auditing for the same reason. Importers do not maintain stocks of hides and skin due to perishable character, and these are sold to different manufacturers who either use them for local consumption or for export. The exporters get refund of sales tax, while local manufacturers adjust the sales tax. Under these circumstances, there is no need to audit the hide and skin importers. Source: Asia Pacific Trade Press

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