Fate of PSI to be decided tomorrow: Officials

A high-level meeting will be held on Sunday to decide the fate of pre-shipment inspection (PSI) as its timeframe expires at the end of this month.

Chairman of the National Board of Revenue Md Ghulam Hussain called the meeting to discuss the matter with all the customs commissioners.

Contacted, a customs commissioner said they will elaborately discuss the matter with the NBR chairman at the meeting.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith in 2009-10 fiscal budget declared that there will be no PSI system in the country after December 2012 and he gave some programmes to replace the system.

NBR sources said the capacity building of the customs and its officials has not completed and there is no scope to complete that within the stipulated time.

Sources at the Chittagong Customs House (CCH) said it has one-third of the required manpower. There are some 400 employees and officials in the Chittagong Customs against the required manpower of 1248. With this manpower, it is not possible for the CCH to provide service round the clock.

Considering the ground reality, the NBR chairman voiced his concern during his recent visit to the CCH. In a meeting with the Customs officials, he said he was not sure whether the ASYCUDA World system will work properly for the valuation of the products replacing the PSI system. “I’m concerned about the matter,” he told the meeting.

The government introduced the PSI in 2000 on the transaction value of imported goods mainly because of the apparent virtues of the system which, among others, included transparency.

News Source: UNB