The illegal movement of goods is treated as smuggling


KARACHI: Illegal transportation of essential goods has been included in the definition of smuggling by the Finance Act of 2022.

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According to PwC AF Ferguson, it is proposed to introduce the concept of essential goods, which defines the term as those items whose availability is deemed essential for domestic consumption, as communicated by the FBR from time to time in consultation with the departments concerned. The following amendments to the Act are proposed in relation to items reported as essential items.

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It is proposed to include essential goods in the definition of contraband. This would mean that bringing in or taking out the essential goods in violation of a current prohibition or restriction would be considered smuggling; thus subject to the penal measures prescribed under the Contraband Act.

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As border and coastal areas, it is proposed to define all districts along international borders, including coastal areas of Pakistan, which have been reported as such by provincial governments.

In the case of essential goods, it is proposed to limit the powers of competent officers to stop and search the vehicle carrying contraband to border and coastal areas only.

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In the event of confiscation of essential goods, such confiscated goods will be deposited at the nearest customs office or the nearest place designated by the customs officer.

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