Pakistanâ€™s Central Board of Revenue (CBR) initiated a study in 2001 to determine the efficiency of Pakistan Customs and its impact on the country's economy. The results revealed that on the average cargo arriving into Pakistan spent 12 days at the port before passing out of the Customs gate. The average processing time by Customs was in excess of 7 days. The following year CBR initiated Customs Administrative Reforms (CARE) as part of its campaign to revamp the Federal tax collection machinery. The main features of the Customs reform strategy are to: (1) focus on high-risk areas and improve efficiency; (2) improve ability to detect offences and non-compliance; and (3) facilitate trade and travel. A principal outcome of CARE is the introduction of a new â€śPakistan Customs Computerized Systemâ€ť (PACCS), which is presently operational at Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT). This pilot will be gradually extended to the entire Customs administration.
A clear picture of the current situation is required so that future progress can be monitored. This involves assessing the time it takes to clear goods, notably through time to cross a border and/or to obtain the release of imported goods.
The object of the performance measurement is twofold:
Â· Systematically collect data on the overall entry and exit times into and out of the border zone at the pilot border sites, and the import clearance times at the pilot inland clearance locations, in order to obtain a baseline figure against which future project implementation progress will be benchmarked; and
Â· Improve on the broad methodology and guiding principles for subsequent on-going data collection, which will be carried out in accordance with specifications to be decided in cooperation with the Government.
The World Bank developed a methodology for carrying out such studies and for establishment of performance indicators, which was applied to South East European and South Caucasus countries. This methodology was adapted for the conditions of Pakistan during an initial survey conducted at Karachi International Container Terminal during September-November 2004.
As most of the activities of Customs can be measured and subsequently monitored through performance indicators collected at selected pilot sites (border crossings and inland clearance locations), the primary objective of the assignment will be to gradually enable the regular gathering of information on performance by initially obtaining a set of data through systematic data collection. This set of data will be then used to determine a national baseline figure of border crossing and clearance of goods times.
Before the beginning of the data collection, the surveyors (data collectors) will: (1) familiarize themselves with the performance measurement methodology and assist in the establishment of practical operational guidelines for each survey site; (2) prepare diagrams of the survey locations to facilitate the deployment of the surveyors for the purposes of the data collection; (3) provide feedback on the proposed data collection schedule.
At each of the pilot sites the data collection will be organized with no more than 3-4 surveyors. The surveyors will effectively collect the data in an agreed format as per the broad data collection methodology for Pakistan. The assignment is expected to last approximately 50 days, and will be finalized by a summary report in addition to the electronically captured data resulting from the data collection.