Karachi: In the budget of 2017-18, the Government has given incentives to poultry sector to ensure smooth supply of poultry products. This fact was also highlighted by the respected Minister Finance, Senator Mr. Ishaq Dar during the course of a meeting. However, the Association wants to ring an alarm bell that because of the misinterpretation by the Customs authorities at the ports, they have been denying clearance to poultry feed ingredients including vitamin and amino acid premixes for poultry feed.
There is a great likelihood that because of the shortage of poultry feed ingredients, there would be short supply of poultry feed resulting into severe losses on account of mortality, delayed weight gains and drop in egg production which will culminate in long term shortages because once the breeding stock is adversely hit, production will continue to suffer throughout their lifecycle.
These poultry feed ingredients and premixes are being imported since the past over 50 years as non-drugs. Suddenly, now they are being considered Drugs.
All the imported items fall under PCT Heading 23.09 ‘preparations of a kind used for animal feeding’. Under Note (c), Heading ‘preparations for used in making complete feeds’, supplementary feeds clearly distinguishes items falling under 23.09 and those as non-drugs, which in fact have been put into actual practice during the past 50 years. As such, there is no reason for the customs authorities to withhold clearance.
Currently, hundreds of containers valuing more than millions of dollars are stranded at the seaports. These preparations of poultry feed which includes vitamins and amino acids are highly sensitive to temperatures and are likely to lose their potency on account of any further delay. At the same time, the Government is losing substantial revenue as an outcome of withholding the clearance and the importers are suffering heavy demurrages because of misinterpretation.
The Poultry Association has approached respected Minster Finance, Senator Ishaq Dar and Mr. Haroon Akhter, Advisor to PM on Revenue for their intervention for ensuring a continued supply of poultry products especially in the month of Ramadan.