Technical Glitch in WeBOC System Allows Importers to Clear Goods without Required Documentation

Last Updated: June 13, 2023
Category: Customs News

PESHAWAR: The MCC Peshawar has discovered a concerning issue regarding the clearance of 48 Goods Declarations (GDs) for various importers. These GDs, with a total assessed value of Rs. 423.655 million, were cleared by customs authorities without the required attachment of an Electronic Import Form (EIF) or Financial Instrument (FI).

Upon further investigation, it was revealed that the importers had initially claimed exemption under Chapter 99. However, the concerned officials of the Collectorate later disallowed this exemption, prompting the importers to pay all the necessary duties and taxes as required.

Unfortunately, a technical glitch occurred during the filing process of the GDs. The importers’ claim for exemption under Chapter 99 (9910) caused the WebOC System to remove the requirement for an EIF. Regrettably, even after the claimed exemption was disallowed, the system did not reinstate the EIF requirement, resulting in the clearance of the goods without the necessary documentation.

It has been determined that the importers were able to exploit this technical glitch in the Web-Based One Customs (WeBOC) system, effectively bypassing the EIF requirement. Recognizing the seriousness of the situation, the Collectorate promptly reported the matter to the Director General of Research and Analysis (R&A), urging necessary changes to be made in the system to prevent similar incidents in the future (copy of the request enclosed).

In response to these findings, Collector Peshawar Muhammad Ashfaq has taken immediate action by forwarding contravention reports for all such cases to the adjudication process. Orders have been issued to ensure that such incidents do not recur until the required modifications are implemented in the WeBOC system.

To address the widespread implications of this issue, the Board has decided to disseminate this information to all field formations. The purpose is to raise awareness among customs officials and prompt appropriate action in similar cases. This initiative aims to enhance vigilance and reinforce the importance of adhering to the prescribed documentation procedures.

This incident highlights the significance of maintaining robust and glitch-free customs systems to prevent potential loopholes that could be exploited by unscrupulous entities. Authorities are committed to rectifying the situation promptly to restore the integrity of the import process and safeguard revenue collection for the government.

As the necessary changes are implemented and further investigations continue, stricter measures are expected to be introduced. These measures will ensure the accurate filing and verification of all required import documentation, thereby maintaining the transparency and efficiency of the customs clearance process.

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