SHC orders release of used imported cars from Karachi Port
The matter was referred to the high court’s special larger bench after two benches had a difference of opinion on it.
The court ordered the authorities concerned to release the cars which were parked at the port after collecting duty and tax on them.
The SHC, in its verdict, further said that the government had already imposed a ban on the import of used cars.
It is reminded here that the first bench of the court had ordered the release of the cars under SRO 833 while the second bench had forwarded the matter to the SHC chief justice who then constituted a special larger bench to decide the case.
Over two years ago, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had requested the government to approve an amnesty scheme for the clearance of over 1,000 refurbished cars stuck at the Karachi Port after change in the import policy. As per the summary, car importers for expatriate Pakistanis need a one-time permission for payment of duties and taxes through their bank accounts for clearance of 1,035 vehicles stuck at the port.
On the other side, the conflict between the FBR and the Ministry of Trade and Commerce over change in import policy for refurbished vehicles had intensified as the former had opposed the move.
The Karachi Port Trust alone has 1,035 imported vehicles. In order to dispose of the vehicles, the FBR had initiated an auction process under Customs Act 1969, which was supposed to be held in April and May 2019. However, several vehicle importers challenged the move in the Sindh High Court (SHC). The SHC issued a stay order after which the auction process was halted.