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Export Policy Order 2013:

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Strategic Trade Policy Framework 2012-15 Speech

by

Muhammad Amin Fahim Senior Federal Minister for Commerce

Ladies & gentlemen,

It is a matter of privilege for me to present the second strategic trade policy framework (STPF) for next three-year period, 2012-15. Present democratic government took the initiative to launch a three year strategic trade policy framework in 2009 instead of annual trade policies to address the concerns of our business community as well as our trading partners on frequent policy shifts – termed as S.R.O. culture. This initiative has served the purpose of giving a medium term outlook to our policy regime.

Carrying this initiative forward, we are now launching the second Strategic Trade Policy Framework, for the period 2012-15.

During past three years, business climate of the country has unfortunately been affected by the security situation prevalent in the region. Energy deficit, law and order situation and devastating floods in 2010 and 2011 have also added to the problems being faced by our industry. However, our economy has shown strength in the face of these challenges and has continued to grow at a steady rate.

Despite various challenges faced by economy, our trade has shown consistent improvement. Our exports increased by 27 percent in the year 2010-11 and touched a record level of us $ 24.8 billion. There was a slight fall of 4.7 percent in exports during 2011-12, due to the global financial crisis and lower prices of cotton in the international market.

Textile still remains the mainstay of our exports. However, focused efforts by the Ministry of Commerce for diversification of our export basket and markets have yielded positive results and the share of non-textile sector has risen from 36.5 percent of our total exports in 2006-07 to 48 percent in 2011-12. Similarly, we have also been successful to a reasonable degree in diversification of our export markets with a gradually increasing quantum of our exports now going to markets in Asia and Africa. Importantly Afghanistan has emerged as a major trading partner and has become our third largest export market.

Ladies & gentlemen,

Given the in-elasticity of our import basket, only viable option available with the government to address the issue of trade deficit is to put a higher level of effort for increasing our exports. It is in this perspective that we have formulated the strategic trade policy framework for 2012-15.

The strategic trade policy framework sets out policy guidelines and identifies principal areas of action to strengthen different aspects of Pakistan’s export competitiveness directly or indirectly.

The major elements of STPF 2012-2015 are:

• i. Focus on regional trade

• ii. Strengthening of the institutional framework for promotion of exports


Export Policy Order 2009:

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Import, export policy orders: FBR proposes major changes

 

ISLAMABAD (July 14 2009): The Federal Board of Revenue has proposed major changes in the import and export policy orders to facilitate overseas Pakistanis, enhance exports and streamline procedures to check import of restricted items under the upcoming Trade Policy 2009-10. The FBR has forwarded viable proposals of the Model Customs Collectorates (MCCs) to the Ministry of Commerce for consideration in the new Trade Policy. The MCCs proposals mainly related to the procedural changes in Import Policy Order and Export Policy Order, measures for checking misdeclarations of the imported goods, facilitative steps to increase exports and removal of ambiguities in the existing import and export policy orders.

Some of the key proposals have been submitted by MCCs in Karachi, which primarily deal with the imports and exports, sources added. Following are the proposals of the MCC, Pakistan Customs Computerised System (PaCCS), Karachi forwarded by the FBR to the Commerce Ministry: Firstly, 'Swine flu-free certification' in case of import of animal and products thereof from affected countries may be incorporated in the Import Policy under Trade Policy (2009-2010). Secondly, clear description and detailed list of "precursor elements" eg Acetic Chloride, with sectors of import should be incorporated in the form of a separate Annexure in the Import Policy. Thirdly, the words "used POL products" should be added in the list of restricted items with clear descriptions and allowed only under some regulations.

Fourthly, General Rules of Origin should be added in the preamble of the Import Policy. Fifthly, the import of Cranes classified under "HS Code 8705" may be allowed in old and used condition, as they are used in the construction sector, in line with other machinery and equipment for this sector. Sixthly, in case of old and used vehicles, the age of the vehicle should be calculated from the 1st day of calendar year of the model and year of manufacturing and depreciation upto 2 percent per month may be allowed. Seventhly, import of old and used vehicles upto 5 years in case of Transfer of Residence and 3 years under baggage and gift scheme may be allowed.

Eight, the requirement of Pemra certificate for the import of dish antenna/satellite receiver may be discontinued to facilitate the dissemination of information. Nine, surveillance cameras and CCTV cameras which are otherwise not allowed for import in used condition should be allowed along with old and used security related equipment and gadgets in Appendix B, keeping in view the security environment in the country. Tenth, used machine tools, which are banned in the Import Policy Order due to Customs General Order No 11 of 2007, may be incorporated in Appendix-C of the Import Policy order with clear descriptions and specification of each item.

Eleven, the goods falling in PCT Heading 8473.3010 (Computer Casings with Power) are not allowed to be imported in used/second hand condition under Serial No 7 of Appendix-C of the Import Policy Order. It is proposed that PCT Heading 8473.3010 may be deleted from Appendix-C making it in line with other computer parts and accessories. In Appendix-G, wherever the description "other" has been given, specific descriptions/ specifications of the items should be incorporated to avoid ambiguity.

The procedure issued by the Ministry of Commerce for import of arms and ammunition of non prohibited bore provides for import of these weapons on the basis of import authorization in terms of value which creates room for misdeclaration, as the importers tend to import more quantity by misdeclaring value. It is proposed that the import of these weapons may also be made conditional on declaration of "quantity" of these weapons, the MCC PaCCS, Karachi proposals added.

Source: Daily Business Recorder

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