Government refuses to allow import of vintage cars

ISLAMABAD:

The government refused to grant a one-time exemption for the importation of vintage cars. In this regard, the Ministry of Commerce had filed a dossier with the cabinet at a meeting held last week.

The Trade Division informed participants that the Import Policy Decree (IPO) 2020, Annex-C, Article 10 states that the import of used / second-hand vehicles is not permitted, at the except those specifically exempted under Chapter 87.

Residents of Pakistan cannot import used vehicles, including vintage ones.

The Federal Board of Revenue (Revenue Division) issued SRO 833 (I) / 2018 dated July 3, 2018, under which a cumulative duty of $ 5,000 per unit was levied on the importation of vintage cars / jeeps ( PCT 8703) over 50 years old. year.

However, the SRO could not be applied due to the ban on importing old cars in the Import Policy Decree.

To make a corresponding amendment to the Import Policy Decree, a summary was forwarded to the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) by the Trade Division in January 2019, which contained a proposal to allow import and import. -export of vintage cars. However, the said proposal was not approved.

Meanwhile, some of the cars imported under SRO 833 (I) / 2018 had arrived in the country. Importers of these cars then began to apply to various courts to request the release of their cars.

They argued that they imported the cars on the basis of the SRO and that they were not aware of any prohibitions in the import policy.

Read The ministry closely monitors imports

Some courts allowed the release of the imported cars while others denied the petitions on the grounds that the SRO had not been issued under section 3 (1) of the Import and Export Act 1950 (control) and that it was therefore not possible to modify the conditions.

In view of the divergent interpretations of various benches, the Chief Justice of the High Court of Sindh established a broader bench to decide the question of the importation of vintage cars in the light of SRO 833 (I) / 2018 and the ‘Ordinance on Import Policy.

In addition, the Ministry of Commerce, the Federal Council of Revenue (Revenue Division) and the Customs Collectors (East and West) of Karachi were declared as respondents.

The largest bench, given its judgment of September 10, 2021, is in principle aligned with the point of view of the Ministry of Commerce. He stated that the importation of vintage cars could not be allowed unless an appropriate amendment was made to the Import Policy Decree under Section 3 (1) of the 1950 Import Act. and exports.

However, the court, by a two-to-one majority, ordered the federal government to treat these requests as requests under paragraph 21 of the Import Policy Decree for the granting of a one-time easing in favor of the United States. old cars already imported and decide the case within 10 days.

In this regard, the Ministry of Commerce requested the approval of a one-time exemption for the importation of vintage cars mentioned in a summary in line with the court’s observations.

The cabinet reviewed the summary titled “Unique relaxation of import ban on vintage cars or otherwise in light of Sindh High Court ruling” submitted by the trade division, and did not approve the unique relaxation for the importation of vintage cars.

Posted in The Express Tribune, November 12e, 2021.

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