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Pakistan Tightens Afghan Transit Trade Rules, Bans 212 Items

Pakistan has decided to ban the export of 212 items to Afghanistan under the Transit Trade Agreement. The move aims to curb the smuggling of these items and save revenue for the country.

According to a notification issued by the Ministry of Commerce, the banned items include 17 types of clothes, vehicle tires, tea leaves, cosmetics and dozens of toiletries. The ban also covers nuts, dry and fresh fruits, and home appliances such as fridges, refrigerators, air conditioners, juicers, and mixer blenders.

The ban will apply to the items that have already been imported and are waiting for clearance from the relevant authorities. The ban will not affect the transit cargo for foreign grants-in-aid to Afghanistan.

The notification came a day after Pakistan imposed a 10 per cent processing fee on several items imported under the Afghan transit trade agreement. The items affected by the fee include confectioneries, chocolates, footwear, machinery, blankets, home textiles, and garments.

The new measures are part of a strategy formulated by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to stop the financial losses caused by the Afghan transit trade. According to sources, Pakistan suffers an annual financial loss of Rs180 billion from the Afghan transit trade due to smuggling and tax evasion.

The Ministry of Commerce also highlighted that Pakistan will take a 100% guarantee of all luxury items in the Afghan transit trade. The federal government has also decided to end the smuggling of luxury items through the Afghan transit trade following the recommendations of the Special Investment Facilitations Council’s (SIFC) apex committee.

The new policy is expected to provide relief to the domestic industry and increase revenue collection for the country. It is also hoped to improve bilateral trade relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

 

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