Sialkot exporters irked by flaws in WeBOC system

SIALKOT: All Pakistan Dry Ports Association (APDPA) Chairman Mohammad Ishaque Butt expressed his deep concern over the serious functional flaws in WeBOC (Web Based One Customs) system.

In a press statement, he said that due to long registration process, just 25 per cent exporters had yet been registered with WeBOC. The former FBR chairman, on his visit to Sialkot Dry Port Trust on March 1, approved the proposals forwarded by the APDPA including suggestions regarding elimination of bottlenecks and other shortcomings in the WeBOC system. The APDPA chairman said, “This is very unfortunate that FBR is not able to remove these flaws.”

He said that Customs Laws and Rules restricted the bonded carriers to use vehicles registered in the name of other bonded carriers with the Customs Department thereby causing somewhat monopolistic situation and exporters/importers might be penalised with excessive freight charges.

Moreover, he said, availability of registered vehicles at up-country dry ports were limited and lesser than the demand for exports and in One Customs system, up-country dry ports were using registered vehicles of other bonded carriers. Exports from Faisalabad and Multan will also be badly affected if rolled over to these dry ports and even at Karachi, where exports vehicles are received, there are a number of teething problems causing slowing down of the process added.

He also expressed his concern over the slow response by the FBR in conflict resolution which results in hoarding the containers at Sialkot Dry Port and a number of export consignments have already missed the vessels caused huge financial loss to the exporters and foreign exchange loss to the country.

He said Sialkot Dry Port Trust General Manager Khalid Butt and APDPA Secretary met with FBR Chairman, Customs Member and related officers of FBR on September 5, and apprised them about the gravity of the matter and discussed in detail the system flaws/shortcomings of WeBOC and necessary amendments in Custom Laws/Rules but besides promise of the FBR high-ups to resolve the issue within couple of days, the issues had not yet resolved resulting in stoppage of sizable exports from Sialkot.

Ishaque Butt and APDPA Chairman demanded that One Customs System be restored forthwith in parallel to WeBOC system till the rectification of issues with WeBOC and incorporation of necessary amendments to the system and Customs Laws/Rules.