The Long Room
Historically “Long Room” was virtually a long room in Customs administration and even in this modern day it is seen as a long room. This is a feature common in most Asian colonies of the Great Britain, and some of very old Customs Organizations is Europe – for example – Denmark and Netherlands. Customs being primarily a revenue collector government organization, the importance of the long room cannot be under scored. Even though the overall macro level of objectives have gradually evolved to encompass social protection obligations, the priority to collect due revenue has not diminished.
Section 10 of the Customs ordinance empowers Customs to charge Customs duties, and other levies and section 47 requires consignees of imported goods to make a true and correct declaration of goods received or imported by them and pay all levies (duties etc) payable on such goods.
Customs Long Room is the place where the Customs Declarations (known as CusDecs) are submitted by importers in respect of all sea cargos , except motor vehicles. Processing CusDecs in respect of motor vehicles is now exclusively entrusted to the motor vehicle unit.
Customs has facilitated to collect not only Customs duties but also several other taxes, namely.
- Value Added Tax (VAT)
- Port and Airport Development Levy (PAL)
- Nation Building Tax (NBT)
- Special Commodity Levy (SCL)
- Excise (Special Provisions) Duty
- Cess on behalf of other government institutions
There are 05 units in Long room for the processing of cusdecs according to the HS codes and the Motor Vehicle Unit to process Cusdecs of Motor Vehicles.
The Long Room Procedure
Submission of CusDecs
The importer is supposed to submit four copies of the CusDec (ie’ Warrant copy, Delivery copy, Exchange copy and Parties copy) as stipulated in the Gazette Notification published under Section 47 of the Customs Ordinance and Cusdec should be submitted along with the following supportive documents
- Customs Declaration (Customs 53), (Warrant copy, Delivery Copy, Exchange copy and Parties copy)
- Value Declaration Form (VDF)
- Commercial Invoice (manually signed and endorsed by the Bank other than in instances where goods has been imported on NFE basis)
- Bill of Lading (BL)
- Delivery Order (DO)
- Letter of Credit(LC) or other documents relating to terms of payment
- Insurance Certificate
- Packing List
- Working Sheet
In addition to the above documents following documents should be submitted as and when required according to the goods imported.
- Any technical information required to clarify the HS
- Import Control License
- Country of Origin Certificate
- Preferential Trade Agreement (PSFTA,ISFTA etc)
- SLSI Certificate
- Cosmetics, Devices and Drugs Authority certificate(CDDA)
- Health Certificate
- Phytosanitary Certificate
- Plant Quarantine approval or Agriculture Department Approval
- Animal Quarantine approval
- Load Port Survey Certificate
- Fumigation Certificate
- Spice Board Certificate
- Any other certificate required by the Law
When there are number of commodities entered in a single CusDec and classified under various HS codes, the relevant unit should be decided on the basis of the commodity or which the highest amount of duty and the other levies are payable.
Section 12, 43 and Schedule “B” under the ordinance requires the Customs to enforce all the restrictions and prohibitions in force in terms of any other law at the time of importation of the goods. As a result of these very wide provisions, Customs has to enforce over 33 Acts, Enactments and Ordinances currently in force. The first and foremost out of these is, “the Import and Export Control Act No. 01 of 1969”
Classification of the Goods
Classification of the goods will be done by the appraisers in each unit and will be satisfied by the SC in each unit. If there is any dispute between Customs Department officers and the importer, the matter will be referred to the Nomenclature Committee. If the importer is dissatisfied with the decision given by the Nomenclature Committee, it can be referred to WCO.
Valuation of Goods
Valuation of the goods will be done by the appraisers in each unit and will be satisfied by the SC in each unit. If there is any doubt about the value, the appraiser of the SC can refer the declaration to Valuation Branch for the valuation of the goods.