Japan takes measures to curb illegal car trade in Pakistan


ISLAMABAD: Japanese government has swung into action to crack down on clearance of imported cars on forged and fake documents in Pakistan, it said on Thursday.


The Embassy of Pakistan in Tokyo, in a statement, said it is taking all legal measures both in Pakistan and Japan to address the matter under applicable laws and to mitigate any possible unease that might be caused to legitimate trade.

Pakistan Customs in Karachi recently unearthed frauds regarding clearance of used-vehicles on the basis of fake/forged documents and in response to the increasing agitation among the Pakistani business community in Japan.

“On December 24, 2020, Trade and Investment Counsellor (TIC) reported to the relevant authorities in Pakistan – Chief Collector Customs (Appraisement) Karachi, Federal Board of Revenue and Ministry of Commerce, submission of fake/forged documents for clearance of a vehicle in Karachi bearing fake seals/stamps of the Embassy and forged signatures of TIC,” said the embassy.

“As a result of an inquiry initiated by FBR/Customs on this incident report, additional cases of fraud have also been unearthed by the authorities for which legal action has already been initiated by Pakistan Customs in Karachi in the form of FIRs against customs clearing agents involved.”

Japan is the main source of used-car imports to Pakistan. Cars are imported in Pakistan under baggage rules or gift scheme as commercial imports are not allowed.

However, the government has weak system to ensure that policy of transfer of residence and gift and baggage schemes are not misused.

In Japan, Trade and Investment Section has already reported the matter to relevant authorities for verification and further investigation.

“While intimating the customs authorities well in time to avoid wrongful clearance of the vehicle fraudulently on the basis of fake/forged documents, the mission has already proposed to review the scheme of importing used vehicles in Pakistan and automating clearance process for vehicles as a module of WEBOC [web-based one customs) to avoid such exploitation and frauds in future,” said the embassy.

“In order to support and facilitate legitimate commercial activity, Trade and Investment Section has been processing all valid cases submitted by overseas Pakistanis living in Japan in routine without any delays and the Embassy will continue to support efficient clearance on the ports.”

The customs authorities in Karachi have assured the Embassy of smooth clearance of genuine cases of import of used vehicles in Pakistan.

In case of any issue faced in this regard by any Pakistani living in Japan, Trade and Investment Section may be contacted at tic.tokyo@commerce.gov.pk for assistance.

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