Pakistan Customs has made a major move to curb trade-based money laundering (TBML).
It is now mandatory for importers to file goods declarations for clearance of shipments of certain goods through customs agents.
Importers are now barred from self-filing goods declarations for clearance of more than 500 products and are now required to file declarations through customs agents according to a customs official.
The official said that misdeclaration or misinvoicing of imports are commonplace in money laundering and some importers are taking advantage of self-assessment and self-filing arrangements to execute TBML schemes.
According to the customs official, multiple instances have been found when importers named on self-filed goods declarations simply do not exist.
Customs officials say the reason they want goods declarations channelled through customs agents is that agents are licenced under customs laws and can be held responsible for any discrepancies in goods declarations.
The bulk of Pakistan’s TBML concerns centre on under-invoicing, mispricing and misdeclarations in trade with China. Officials estimate that Pakistan loses up to the equivalent of US$3 billion a year in trade-based financial crimes in which Chinese goods are involved.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News