Mudasser Chudhary: A ceremony was held on 10th Feburary, 2020 in Federal Board of Revenue for signing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Electronic Exchange of Data between Iran Customs and Federal Board of Revenue. The signing Cermony was chaired by Mr. Muhammad Javed Ghani, Member (Customs-Policy/Operation), Federal Board of Revenue and subsequently presided over by the acting Chairperson, FBR, Ms. Nausheen Javaid Amjad.
Background of the achievement of this milestone is that Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement was signed between the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 04.03.2004. In light of the said Agreement, it was felt imperative by Federal Board of Revenue to make progress on a number of important areas for protecting economic interests of Pakistan involved in bilateral trade between Iran and Pakistan. Under the said Agreement, it was decided to finalize of the MOU on Electronic Data Exchange between Pakistan Customs and Iran Customs. It was also emphasized to exchange values/documents on real time basis in case of the goods to be imported/exported and to roll-out a fully automated clearance system, having advance information, about goods/passengers at Taftan – Mirjaveh Border stations (as a pilot project) and at other border stations in a phased manner.
To this effect, the Iranian customs authorities were approached and the meetings in this regard were held on 18th – 20th February, 2019 and 16th – 17th October, 2019. In the last meeting, dated 16th – 17th October, 2019, milestones were achieved and consensus was developed on the areas as listed in above Para. In furtherance of the subject matter, the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration (IRICA) nominated, Mrs. Haideh Bagheripour, the Director General of Information Technology Department, to come over to Pakistan for signing the MoU on behalf of her Customs Administration.
While welcoming distinguished guests from Iran Customs, the Chairperson, FBR, Ms. Nausheen Javaid Amjad stated that implementation of this MoU will have a number of benefits for both Iran Customs and Federal Board of Revenue such as availability of advance information about values, descriptions and quality of the goods to be imported into Pakistan from Iran and reduced costs on clearance of goods at the borders. Moreover, accurate valuation of the imported goods will lead to realization of greater revenues, she said.
The Member (Customs-Policy), Mr. Muhammad Javed Ghani, while speaking on the said occasion, warmly welcomed the esteemed guests from Iran Customs on their visit to Pakistan. He said that the proposed cooperation through the Memorandum of Understanding would go a long way in fostering a long-term relationship between both customs administrations and would enable them to successfully cope with the challenges that they are facing. According to him, implementation of this MoU would ensure optimum trade facilitation through quick examination / assessment of the imported goods and more transparency and lesser human interface. He assured Iran customs of full cooperation from Pakistan Customs on any area pertaining to mutual assistance and collaboration.
Ambassador of Iran in Pakistan, His Excellency Mr. Mohammad Ali Hosseini, was also present on the occasion. At the start of his address, he conveyed felicitations to all the present officers of Federal Board of Revenue and appreciated both customs administrations for working untiringly to reach the consensus on the provisions of MoU and, finally, converging to sign it. He expressed his pleasure over the fact that there are a number of important areas wherein both customs administrations can work together in the best interests of Iran and Pakistan.
After signing of MoU, the instrument was exchanged between relevant officers of Iran Customs and Federal Board of Revenue.