FAISALABAD: Government of Pakistan should stop M/s Maersk Pakistan Pvt Ltd and Qasim International Containers Terminal (QICT) from taking extra demurrage and detention charges to clear legally imported consignments.
Advocate Muhammad Farhan associated with District Court Faisalabad told Customs Today in an interview that Maersk Pakistan and QICT violated SRO 1220 and Section 14A of Customs Act 1969 by taking extra demurrage and detention charges other than collecting applied duty and taxes.
He said that the government should adopt zero tolerance policy against corruption in the country to restrain corruption from shipping industry, otherwise importers will stop clearance of their import shipments and prefer illegal ways like smuggling. Business community and importers are always ready to pay reasonable taxes to the government but shipping companies are robbing huge revenue from importers in shape of demurrage and detention charges.
He said Faisalabad Tax Bar Association showed deep concern over exorbitant charges collected by a few shipping companies in wake of demurrage and detention charges for the clearance of their import shipments.
He alleged that genuine importers are facing harassment at large scale as they have to face unnecessary delay in the clearance of their shipments. He said if importers refuse to pay additional charges to said shipping companies then they face unnecessary delay in the clearance of their legitimate shipments without any reason and incur financial losses.
Advocate Muhammad Farhan said that there is no check and balance on the shipping companies and it is the best opportunity for institutions to implement accountability laws on shipping companies to stop their corruption practices.
He demanded from Federal Board of Revenue, Ministry of Ports and Shipping, National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency to take action against Maersk shipping line and QICT for their shocking irregularities and recover all looted amount from them to provide relief to affected importers.