The Pakistan government on Tuesday announced a 10 percent processing fee on items imported under the “Afghan Transit Trade Agreement,” Pakistani media reported.
Dawn cited a notification (SRO1381 of 2023) of the Pakistan Customs Department, saying that the fee, calculated as 10pc ad valorem based on the original value of goods, must be paid in advance during the declaration process for Afghan transit commercial goods entering Afghanistan via Pakistan.
The report said that the items affected include confectioneries, chocolates, footwear, various machinery, blankets, home textiles, and garments.
According to the media, the notification stipulates that goods declarations filed before Oct 3 will not be subject to these new provisions.
Pakistan’s Customs officials suspect that certain goods, though destined for Afghanistan, are clandestinely rerouted back into Pakistan, prompting this latest measure.
Dawn quoted a Pakistani official as saying that cargo volume has surged recently. “Despite Afghanistan’s transit trade demand being $1bn to $2bn per year, we have observed a significant rise. This fee is expected to deter those involved in illicit trading,” the official said as quoted by Dawn.
Under the transit trade agreement, Pakistan has the right to impose processing fees on cargo, the Pakistani official said.