FTO Directs Customs to Revise Ice Cream Import Valuation Ruling

ISLAMABAD: In a recent development, the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) has instructed the Directorate General of Customs Valuation Karachi to reevaluate and issue a fresh valuation ruling concerning the import of ice cream.

This directive, issued on Thursday, reflects ongoing efforts to ensure transparency and accuracy in the assessment of taxes related to ice cream imports. The move aims to streamline the valuation process, providing a fair and up-to-date framework for assessing the financial implications of ice cream imports, aligning with regulatory standards.

In this matter, the Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) office has raised serious concerns regarding what appears to be discriminatory treatment among importers of ice cream during the clearance of their consignments by the Collectorate of Customs Appraisement (SAPT), Karachi.

This concern has prompted the FTO to issue an order on Thursday in response to a complaint filed against the Collector of the Collectorate of Customs Appraisement (SAPT), Karachi. The FTO’s order explicitly highlights a perceived case of discrimination between the complainant, M/s Capvan Sweets (Pvt) Limited, and its competitor, M/s Jofa International, specifically in the application of the valuation ruling. The FTO emphasizes the necessity for the Valuation department to address and resolve this issue.

According to the FTO order, the Director of the Directorate General of Customs Valuation Karachi is instructed to make a decision on the complainant’s case after providing a proper opportunity for a hearing to the complainant and other stakeholders. This step is seen as crucial in settling the matter for the future and ensuring fair treatment in the application of valuation rulings.

The complaint revolves around the regular importation of “HAAGEN DAZS ICE CREAM” with different flavors by the complainant from global sources, including France. The complainant filed a Goods Declaration (GD), which, as per the FTO’s findings, was not assessed on the declared value by the department without any apparent legal basis or justification.

Further investigation by the FTO revealed that the Collectorate failed to accept the declared value for the GD, despite the department itself having previously accepted the declared value for two other GDs. Interestingly, the declared value was also accepted in the case of another importer, M/s Jofa International, based on the judgment of the customs appellate tribunal.

In response, the FTO has directed the Collector of the Collectorate of Customs Appraisement Karachi to accept the declared value for the GD, emphasizing consistency with their acceptance of declared values for other GDs. This directive aims to rectify the perceived inconsistency in treatment and uphold fairness in the valuation process.

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