KARACHI: The Karachi Customs Agents Association (KCAA) has urged the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to postpone the implementation of electronic filing of goods declarations (GD) until the stakeholders adapt to the technicalities of the system.

The secretary general of the KCAA, Nadeem Kamil, pointed out that the FBR has made uploading of electronic import form (EIF) in web-based one customs (WeBOC) system mandatory from Sept 1, 2016.

Though the move would help curb malpractices and check illegal financial transactions, customs agents and importers were facing difficulty in understanding the system, he explained.

He asked the FBR that before launching such systems, proper training sessions and workshops should be held to train stakeholders.

Besides technical issues, he said there was no clarification regarding the letter of credit payments which were already made prior to the date of implementation of the EIF system from Sept 1.

He added that other issues related to the new system could be related to refresh of WeBOC user ID and password in the cases where importers add their customs agents and authorise them to file GDs on their behalf.

In order to resolve such issues, the customs authorities should also set up a help desk in the customs collectorates concerned in which official of the post of deputy collector of customs in user ID and password sections should facilitate trade and provide necessary assistance.

Mr Kamil also asked the customs authorities that the requirement to provide the bill of landing at the time of issuance of user ID may also be abolished because after the implementation of EIF as mandatory, the aforesaid condition could not be fulfilled by trade and customs agents.

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