Pakistan Customs has been moving towards automated clearance procedures as part of an indigenous reform agenda, starting with the Pakistan Automated Customs Clearance System (PACCS) launched as pilot program in 2005 and moving on later to the Web Based One Customs system (WeBOC) in 2011. The objective behind automated clearance is to expeditiously clear import/export cargo whose quantum is exponentially increasing with time. Automated clearances through any self assessment based system cannot exist without a robust Post Clearance Audit organization that would effectively monitor clearances through post clearance audits and encourage compliance without adversely impacting speedy clearance at the ports. The Directorate General of Post Clearance Audit was consequently established in October, 2008.
The aims and objectives of this Post Clearance Audit organization include developing a comprehensive monitoring mechanism for the verification of trade-related declarations; detecting and investigating commercial and trade-related frauds and proposing measures to prevent their recurrence; assisting the Federal Board of Revenue in developing and updating systems and procedures that encourage compliance of importers/exporters with national trade laws, procedures and controls; and finally recovering of escaped revenue.
The Directorate General of Post Clearance Audit comprises of a Headquarter Office at Islamabad and regional offices at Lahore and Karachi. SRO 503(I)/2009 dated 13.06.2009 defines the areas of territorial/functional jurisdiction of the Directorate, Post Clearance Audit (Headquarters), Islamabad, while SROs 501(I)/2009 and SRO 502(I)/2009 both dated 13.06.2009, define the same for the Directorate of Post Clearance Audit (South), Karachi and Directorate of Post Clearance Audit (North), Lahore. The Officers of the PCA Organization have been empowered by the Federal Government through SRO 500(I)/2009 dated 13.06.2009 to be the officers of customs and to exercise the functions of the appropriate officer as specified in the above SROs. CGO 3 of 2009 specifies the organizational structure, functions and the rules of business for the Post Clearance Audit organization. Details of these legal instruments are separately available under the tab “SROs/CGO” on this page.
PCA has an important role to play in the current scenario of automated clearances through WeBOC since it enables customs controls while allowing for immediate expedited release of goods or at least reduction of release times. In fact, implementation of post clearance customs controls is very much part of the Pakistan Customs’ risk management strategy. This is possible because post clearance audit can cover all customs regimes, including duty free zones, temporary import, DTRE, public/private warehousing, baggage, end use tariff items etc. Thus, the need of the hour is to further strengthen this organization with a well trained and professional work force so that it can achieve its objectives in a more effective manner and provide dynamic support to the ongoing system of automated clearance at all customs ports in the country.