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SBP eases import restrictions, urges banks to prioritize essential items

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January 23, 2023 (MLN):  In an effort to support businesses, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has withdrawn the requirement of prior approval for imports of certain products and instead provided general guidance to banks to prioritize the import of essential items such as food, pharmaceuticals, and energy.

This move is aimed at addressing the issue of shipping containers carrying imported goods being stuck at ports due to delays in the release of shipping documents by banks.

To further facilitate importers, SBP has advised banks to provide one-time facilitation for importers by extending payment terms to 180 days or longer or arranging funds from abroad to settle pending import payments.

Additionally, banks have been instructed to process and release documents for shipments that have already arrived at a port in Pakistan or have been shipped on or before January 18, 2023.

In light of these changes, the business community, including trade bodies and chambers of commerce, have been urged to inform their banks prior to initiating any import transactions to avoid complications in the future.

The SBP’s efforts to ease import restrictions and help businesses are a welcome move in these difficult times and are expected to have a positive impact on the economy.

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Posted on: 2023-01-23T11:26:53+05:00