ISLAMABAD: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will issue gold, platinum and silver certificates to the Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) for providing them a wide range of benefits including trade facilitation, speedy clearance of imports and exports consignments and timely payment of refunds/duty drawback to the holders of such certificates.
The FBR has issued draft Authorized Economic Operator Rules Monday.
Under the new rules, the FBR will issue gold and platinum certificates to importers or exporters and silver certificate may be granted to categories of economic operators other than importers and exporters, including Logistics Providers, Custodians or Terminal and off-dock terminal Operators, Customs Agents and Warehouse Operators. The validity of AEO certificate shall be two years for Gold, three years for Platinum and Silver.
The authorised economic operator or AEO means a certified entity which fulfills the security criteria and other laid down obligations and derives benefits as prescribed under these rules and may include manufacturers, importers, exporters, custom house agents, brokers, shipping lines, carriers, consolidators, intermediaries, ports operators, airports operators, terminal operators, integrated operators, warehouses, distributors, freight forwarders and logistic service providers.
In case of importers and exporters, at the time of filing of AEO application, annual turnover of the business must be US$2.5 million or above while applying for gold or platinum status, FBR said.
The benefits for gold status included priority placement/front line of treatment shall be accorded under WeBOC module for all processes including assessment, examination and scanning to ensure shorter cargo release time; facility of Direct Port Delivery (DPD) of their import Containers and or Direct Port Entry(DPE) of their Export Containers would be available.
A special space shall be earmarked at port or terminal area for handling AEO containers for speedy clearance and ID cards to be granted to authorized personnel for hassle free entry to Custom Houses, terminals, off-dock terminals and dry ports and wherever feasible, they will get separate parking space and sitting/waiting area earmarked in Custom Houses, terminals, off-dock terminals, dry ports etc.
In case they are required to furnish a Bank Guarantee, the quantum of the Bank Guarantee would be fifty percent of that required to be furnished by an importer and exporter who is not an AEO Certificate Holder; and will provide PDC or corporate guarantee for the remaining fifty percent and they will not be subjected to regular transactional PCA, instead of that onsite entity based PCA will be conducted. They will be allowed 24/7 clearances on request, if required, at all customs clearance stations. In case where laboratory analysis is required for assessment purposes, the sample from AEO consignment shall be retrieved and consignment shall be released provisionally except for agricultural goods; and the duty drawback claims filed through Customs Computerized System along with Bank Credit Advice (BCA) shall automatically be placed at top of the queue and processed on priority. The refund claims of Sales Tax and Federal Excise Duty, after submission of complete documents, shall be processed on priority.
The benefits for Platinum status may be provided over and above the benefits offered in, Gold category. They shall get trade facilitation by a foreign Customs administration with whom Pakistan enters into a mutual recognition agreement or arrangement.
In case they are required to furnish a Bank Guarantee/pay order, the AEO Certificate Holder may provide Post Dated Cheque or corporate guarantee for the required amount. They shall be given choice of location for control and clearance (on-site inspection and examination) of goods at the premises of the authorized economic operator. The random select on for checks, without prior approval from FBR, will be avoided by other government agencies. An approach based on specific information and Risk based interventions, in case of requirements originating from the Acts administered by other Government Agencies and Departments, will be adopted for providing better facilitation in imports and export of their consignments.