FPCCI president Mian Nasser Hyatt Maggo welcomed Chief Collector Customs Enforcement and Compliance Abdul Qadir Memon’s visit to the FPCCI Head Office and lauded his efforts to alleviate trade and industry concerns. For Hanif Lakhany, the export-oriented companies turn to the customs department for additional facilitation at sea and airports, as customs plays a crucial role in achieving visible growth in exports to overseas clients. Customs is doing its best, but there is still room for improvement, such as providing customs service’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and making better use of IT systems. As a result of the post-pandemic era, airports have taken on the role of seaports in terms of exports. Additionally, locally and globally, our competitors’ profit from airports’ customs and shipment capabilities. It’s been reported that the COVID-19 epidemic has supplied support packages to small and medium-sized businesses and traders around the world; nevertheless, in Pakistan, we’ve been subjected to even more problems through customs and tax warnings, and investigations. After being passed at ports and borders, traders still have to go through a slew of extra checks, according to him. High-ranking customs officials were also notified by him that FPCCI has letters from airport terminal operators stating that they are eager and ready for their operation hours to be extended. Furthermore, he said, WBC should be more effective, with fewer containers opened for physical exams. Abdul Qadir Memon responded to inquiries and concerns by stating that 80 percent of the containers are currently cleared by WeBOC using scanners; only 20 percent of the containers are cleared manually, and only 8 percent of the containers are opened to conduct the physical inspection. According to him, in the next year, the customs department hopes to increase the digital and automated clearance rate through WeBOC to 90pc from the current 80pc level. Chief Collector further said, to thunderous applause, that he has asked the customs checkpoints in upcountry to discontinue the practice of inspecting cargo containers, except when there is an intelligence-based indication of some infraction. FPCCI is looking forward to hosting the Chief Collector of Customs again in the coming weeks to raise the remaining issues, create awareness and have a follow-up on the progress made on the promised steps to facilitate the business community.