ISLAMABAD – The Federal Revenue Board (FBR) says it has developed 31 positions in Pakistan’s Cross-Border Trade Index ranking, from 142 to 111, a major achievement for ease of doing business.
The board facilitated cross-border trade by focusing on three key areas, including enhancing the integration of various institutions in the Web-Based Single Customs (WEBOC) electronic system; To reduce the number of documents required for import / export permits; Increasing the capacity of Pakistani Customs officials to play a proactive role in the smooth regulation of border trade.
Climbing the ladder in the Cross Border Trade Index enabled Pakistan to rise from 136th to 108th in the World Bank’s (WB) ‘Ease of Doing Business 2020’ and rank among the top 10 countries. most, in the last year / corresponding to increase the ease of doing business in their home country.
The FBR said in a statement that this milestone made Pakistan the sixth global reformer and the first country in South Asia to facilitate business for national / international trade.
The statement stated that it is important to state that border facilitation is among the top priority areas in line with the comprehensive policy put by the government, adding that the concerted efforts of Pakistani Customs under the FBR have resulted in impressive performance in terms of EU harmonization. The provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Trade Facilitation Agreement; hence, it complements Pakistan’s rise in the Cross Border Trade Index.
While Pakistan Customs followed the implementation of effective customs controls to comprehensively facilitate compliant trade, less / inappropriate trade was directed to scrutiny.
This strategy worked well as designed by Pakistan Customs and went a long way in reducing the waiting time for import / export (at borders / ports) in Pakistan by increasing the percentage of permits through the Green Channel.
For example, the time required for documentary adaptation to export was reduced from 55 hours to 24 hours, and the time required for general border compliance for export was reduced from 75 hours to 24 hours. Similarly, the time required for document compliance to affect imports was reduced from 143 hours to 24 hours, and the time required for general border compliance to carry out imports was reduced from 120 hours to 24 hours.
To further improve Pakistan’s position in the Cross-Border Trade Criteria, the Federal Revenue Board is pursuing the simultaneous completion of the Regional Improvement of Border Services (RIBS) and Pakistan Single Window.
Regional Improvement of Border Services (RIBS) is implemented in Torkham, Chaman and Wahga and is the Flagship program aimed at improving border crossing facilities, which are key crossing points to Afghanistan and India.
On the other hand, Pakistan Single Window will integrate at least 46 departments / agents in Pakistan online, making cross-border business a smooth and seamless process.