The Federal Tax Ombudsman (FTO) in an Own Motion Investigation has declared the import of stolen vehicles under the Transfer of Residence, Baggage Scheme, or Gift Scheme illegal.
Earlier in August 2006, the then Central Board of Revenue (CBR) now FBR had decided in a Customs Conference that the import of such vehicle was legal after the payment of redemption fine and taxes. Today, FTO’s investigation committee overruled the decision and highlighted that without following the due legal process, the import of stolen vehicles will facilitate criminal activities in the country.
FTO recommended that FBR direct all its Collectors of Customs and other concerned authorities to stop this practice from now on. FTO further directed that the stolen vehicles, when brought in for import, either be returned to the concerned authorities of the country from where the vehicle is being imported or the vehicle be confiscated and disposed of through public auction.
In this regard, FTO issued a notice to FBR and the tax body in response reported that Customs collectors in Sialkot and Peshawar had cleared six and three vehicles in 2007 and 2013-2014 respectively.
FTO recommended the FBR to direct the Customs Collector Sialkot to seize the identified vehicles and take the necessary legal actions against the importers involved and ordered to submit a report within 45 days.
The decision taken by CBR in August 2006 was that the Collector may clear the vehicle after imposing a 30 per cent redemption fine under the provision of the Customs Act 1969 and no further action should be taken unless a government agency of the concerned country approached the government of Pakistan.