Customs increase Vigilance at Airports to Prevent Smuggling of Banned Import Items

Pakistan Customs announced on Tuesday that it has “stepped up enforcement” at Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport (JIAP) to prevent the smuggling of non-essential luxury commodities, which the government banned last week.
According to the Ministry’s documentation, a total of 33 products have been banned from being imported. This effort has the potential to save Rs. 500 million each year. The scenario will become clearer in a few days. The Ministry also considered alternative possibilities, such as raising import duties, but there was no likelihood of saving money, he said. Items imported by barter and imports via land means are excluded from the restriction. Imports of Afghan commodities are also not limited. In this respect, a helpline has also been established to assist the complaint in addressing any issues that may arise. He thought that the issue will improve when we reviewed it in two months.
The committee’s Chairman stated during his presentation that a restriction on imported products is not the solution to the problem and will just exacerbate the trend of smuggled commodities.
Pakistan Customs stated that “round-the-clock surveillance” at the Karachi airport’s “International Arrival Terminal” resulted in confiscation of various things including food stuff, sanitary ware, used phones and branded shoes, disguised as legitimate passenger baggage.
While commending Pakistan Customs’ efforts, the Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) reiterated the FBR’s unwavering determination to strengthen enforcement measures at all airports, seaports, and land border stations to ensure the prevention of smuggling of goods, including newly banned items.
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail and FBR Chairman, on the other hand, have issued instructions not to trouble ordinary travellers bringing in products in non-commercial/small amounts for personal use, and to assist such passengers at airports to the greatest degree permitted by law.