What is Increased Enforcement at JIAP passengers facing? A passenger at Jinnah International Airport was held back as chocolates, and other eateries were confiscated from his baggage!
Last week, the government released a list of non-essential luxury items banned to help the country recover from its financial crisis. The news blew up on the internet as citizens and celebrities pitched their opinions. The confiscation of chocolates and fruits has further exasperated the situation as citizens worry about bringing in personal items in their luggage from abroad.
Increased Enforcement at JIAP
On Tuesday, Pakistan Customs revealed that they had excited security and enforcement at Jinnah International Airport. They predict that people will increase smuggling in imported items after the newly placed import ban.
A circular released by Pakistan Customs read,
“Pakistan Customs has geared up enforcement at Jinnah International Airport, Karachi to prevent smuggling of items which have recently been banned by the federal government vide notification/SRO 598(I) 2022, dated 19.05.2022, by including those items in the Banned List.”
The circular also revealed that authorities had seized several kgs of banned items from passengers. This includes;
- Foodstuff – 76 kgs
- Fruits – 127 kgs
- Sanitary ware – 42 kgs
- Used mobile phones – 213 pieces
- Branded shoes – 96 pieces
The items have been confiscated under Section 168 of the Customs Act as they violate the official notification released on May 19.
Moreover, strict screening and baggage checking are being conducted at the Karachi Airport. Passengers flying in from ‘risky destinations’ are strictly supervised, and their baggage is thoroughly checked.
As per the directions of the Federal Government, following items and respective PCTs are banned for importation in Pakistan.@mincompk @FBRSpokesperson @MiftahIsmail @Marriyum_A pic.twitter.com/jtxrM2p7c1
— Pakistan Customs Service (@Pak_Customs) May 19, 2022
Chocolates Seized at Karachi Airport
Miftah Ismail, Finance Minister, also commented on the increased enforcement at JIAP. He fears that people will begin smuggling in the banned items. His exact statement was,
“As the govt has banned importing a few non-essential items, we fear that smuggling of these items will increase. Therefore we have increased enforcement against professional khaipyas. Officials know who they are.”
Miftah further clarified that the rule does not apply to passengers bringing in a few items from abroad for personal use. It only applies to professional traders smuggling in items under personal belongings.
Miftah’s statement comes after people complain about detaining personal items at the airport. A passenger arriving from Dubai was stopped, and 5 kg of foodstuff was detained from his luggage. This was a “contravention of Custom Acts/ITC Regulations /Foreign Exchange Regulations/ Allied Laws.”
However, it is now confirmed that the ban does not apply to personal goods brought in for personal use by passengers.
Ban of Imported Items
The Pakistan Customs banned the following 38 items as the notification released on May 19.
- Aerated Water and Juice
- Carpets (except Afghanistan)
- Chandeliers, Lighting Devices and Equipment
- Sanitary and Bathroom Wares
- Auto CBU
- Tissue Papers
- Confectionary Items
- Cosmetics and Shaving Items
- Dog and Cat Food
- Doors and Window Frames
- Corn Flakes etc
- Decoration/ornamental Articles
- Jams, Jellies, and Preserved Fruits
- Home Appliances CBU
- Fruits and Dry fruits
- Pasta etc.
- Frozen and Processed Meat
- Tomato Ketchup and Sauces
- Traveling Bags and Suitcases
- Luxury Leather Jackets and Clothes
- Mattress, Sleeping Bags
- Mobile Phone CBU
- Arms and Ammunition
- Musical Instruments
The restrictions do not apply “on the imports in Pak rupees or imports through barter mechanism by land routes.”
Pakistan’s huge import bill is the main reason for implementing this ban, as the government hopes to save itself from its debilitating financial crisis.