Pakistan has introduced a system for pre-arrival clearance of imported goods coming through the air route. It will help to to facilitate business operations in the country with the aim of clearing the goods on time, facilitating trade and improving supply chain management.
Customs Department Initially receives details of the goods in the aircraft electronically through the Board when the flight departs from the international destination and cargo importers receive clearance for delivery until the flight lands in Pakistan. This new project, launched by the Customs Department of Pakistan, and is called “Clearance in Sky“.
Clearance in Sky
This system sends a message to cargo importers or recipients of goods. That can be shown to the authorities for delivery of cargo. It can also be used to know the status of the goods. This system can tell the exact status and timing of the goods, after which they will be ready for physical delivery at airports. During the trial and test run of the project in December 2020, life-saving drugs, passports, documents such as human organs and destructive items including vegetables and fruits successfully cleared.
“We are currently clearing the imports of 12 commercial importers, manufacturers and exporters in Pakistan’s textile and pharmaceutical sectors,” Farah Farooq, additional customs collector who heads the pilot project, told the Express Tribune.Farah Farooq | Additional Customs Collector
Current clearance system
Currently, the customs clearance of imported industrial cargo starts after a few hours the aircraft lands. On the other hand, the physical clearance system takes two to five days for clearance of goods. Currently, customs are clearing about 48% of the goods in one to two days.
He further said that this scheme currently implemented only at Karachi Airport. At present this scheme has covered Qatar Airways. Over the next two to three weeks, the facility expected to extend to 16 more international airlines. That will come to Pakistan and importers from other sectors will also be welcomed into the system.
One of the major requirement for the usage of this system is adoption of automatic mechanism. However, many businesses, customs departments and airlines are fully automated. The system designed to facilitate trade and its success depends on the importers. The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has improved procedures and workflows in compliance with international trade facilitation commitments. Under performance agreements signed with the Prime Minister’s Office in September 2017.
We can expect that clearance time for destructive goods, life-saving drugs and duty-free imports and parcels will reduce from 10 hours to one hour in the future. Although industrial raw materials and intermediary products clearance time will reduce to less than a day. Premature clearance system will result in increase of trade volume by air. It will lead Pakistan to a smooth alliance with international supply chains.
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