MULTAN: Business community of South Punjab are deeply concerned over the collection of unreasonable demurrage and detention charges by M/s Maersk Pakistan Pvt Ltd and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) from importers and asked the government to take special measures for protection of importers from blackmailing of said shipping company and terminal operator.
It was stated by renowned importer and Chairman All Pakistan Anjuman Tajiran Pakistan Khawaja Muhammad Suleman Siddiqui against the irregularities of Maersk Pakistan and QICT while talking to Customs Today the other day. He said Pakistan is vastly import-dependent country of the world and a few shipping companies are looting genuine importers by charging unjustified demurrage and detention charges from importers.
Illegal demurrage charges by M/s Maersk shipping line and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) are causing disturbance in the business community of South Punjab. He said that importers of South Punjab are facing blackmailing of shipping companies for the clearance of their legally imported shipments.
He said that importers and exporters from nationwide especially South Punjab are facing many challenges in the clearance of their genuine import and export shipments. Business community is already operating their business in ambiguous atmosphere due to heavy taxation on them in Pakistan.
Importers are trapped by different shipping companies and their agents by offering discount in their clearance charges and when importers hire them from clearance of their shipments due to discount charges, these shipping companies like M/s Maersk shipping line and QICT demand additional charges as demurrage and detention charges along with their usual duties.
He expressed that shipping companies cannot charge any demurrage and detention charges until it is not agreed between parties and mentioned on the bill of lading. But M/s Maersk shipping line and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) are openly violating set laws and procedures by imposing demurrage charges and robbing huge revenue from importers through blackmailing.
According to the Customs Act of 1969, shipping company and port authorities cannot charge any demurrage or detention charges if Customs provides a Delay and Detention certificate to importers but allegedly even with this certificate Shipping company M/s Maersk shipping line and QICT are illegally charging demurrage amount to genuine importers without any justification.
Business community of South Punjab is already facing different issues and importers are not in stable position to afford blackmailing of demurrage and detention charges collected by M/s Maersk shipping line and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) due to ongoing economic crisis in the country.
He demanded from Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf government to protect importers from blackmailing of said shipping companies and take strict action against M/s Maersk shipping line and QICT for collecting illegal demurrage and detention charges from importers.