Government has introduced Perishable Goods Speedy Release and Disposal Regulations 2021 through a notification being SRO No. 269-Ain/2021/44/Customs dated August 8, 2021 (Gazette published on August 11, 2021).
As per the regulations, if everything is in order, the process of customs clearance of perishable goods should be completed within 48 hours. This timeframe can be extended; subject to the permission of the concerned commissioner. Any importer or exporter or their agent may submit a bill of entry to any system within 24 hours if they desire.
Pursuant to the regulations, each Commissioner in each customs house has to form a special committee of not more than five members for the management of the perishable goods expediently. If an importer does not release the goods within the stipulated time, the special committee will dispose of the goods through auction or if not possible, through destruction.
There are 63 types of goods listed as perishable in the regulation and the Joint Commissioner or other senior customs official has the power to declare any goods as perishable.
The list includes ivestock, birds and animals, ducks, chicken and poultry, frozen fish, fish fry, yeast, plants and seedlings, mushrooms, fresh flowers, fresh fruits, fresh capsicum, pickles, dried fruits, tea leaves, coffee, betel nut, coconut, ghee, butter oil, molasses, nuts, fertilizers, rawhides, beets, raw rubber, sugar, black salt, common salt, testing salt, milk and dairy products, frozen and processed meats, poultry eggs, chocolate, biscuits, vermicelli, chips, noodles, chanachur, onions, garlic, chillies, ginger, raw turmeric, fresh and frozen vegetables, tamarind, all food and cosmetics for a period not exceeding six months, medicines and medicinal raw materials and edible oils.
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