WE do not intend to deal in any interest transactions in our business and therefore any interest we accumulate through bank deposits are paid to the poor or provide facilities like road etc built in third world. However, we find that we are unwittingly paying interest when we are importing goods from abroad. According to UK laws Duty and VAT(Sales Tax) are to be paid at the point of entry. The authorities requires one to have a deferment account which is a guarantee from the bank to honor the payment of Duty-Vat for the goods that are imported. Our company does not have such an account and therefore have to use clearing agents who charge us a percentage for using of their account even though we pay the DUTY-VAT applicable to the goods instantaneously. This extra percentage that has to be paid for the use of their deferment account according to me is interest as it is based on the value of money that we are using. In order to avoid this payment of this interest can we give the bank the accumulated interest that we have as a guarantee (bond) so that we can open a Deferment account. No use of this money will be made as we will be paying the Duty-Vat insteaneously. The bank therefore is just holding the money in the event we do not pay Duty-VAT. Please advice.
The percentage the clearing agent is charging you is not interest. It is merely a service fee. Hence they are justified in charging you this fee.
You may not use this interest to open a deferment account as this effectively means using interest money for a personal gain. Why don’t you use your Halaal money to open this account?
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai