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Govt should take action against Maersk, QICT for collecting illegal demurrage, detention charges: Salman Nasar

Govt should take action against Maersk, QICT for collecting illegal demurrage, detention charges: Salman Nasar

LAHORE: Pakistan’s famous businessman, importer and exporter of fans, washing machines and other relevant items from Gujrat, Salman Nasar has said that government should take strict action against shipping company M/s Maersk Pakistan Pvt Ltd and terminal operator QICT which are involved in the collection of exorbitant charges such as demurrage and detention charges for the clearance of shipments from genuine importers. These shipping companies are spoiling business environment due to their blackmailing at port by collecting unjustified demurrage and detention charges for the clearance of legitimate shipments.

Senior businessman Salman Nasar who is expanding his business in USA said in his exclusive talk with Customs Today that he is worried about increasing expenses on ports of Pakistan. He said that fans and washing machines industry is big export industry of Pakistan but ‘we are facing problems in Pakistan’.

He said that SRO 1220(I)/ 2015 explains that shipping companies cannot charge any demurrage and detention where specifically it is not agreed and also specifically not mentioned on the B/L (Bill of lading) but these companies are compelling genuine importers to pay excess charges in shape of  detention charges. These shipping companies and terminal operator are operating like a mafia and they create unnecessary delays in the clearance of shipments by making lame excuses. Even those importers are blackmailed which are already issued delay and detention certificate by Customs.

He added that collection of demurrage and detention charges from importers without any specified agreement is unfair. According to section 14-A of the Customs Act, 1969, importer cannot be forced to pay any demurrage or detention charges if Customs gave a certificate to importer called the ‘delay and detention certificate’. But despite this certificate, importers’ goods are held illegally to demand heavy amounts as demurrage.

He said that shipping line M/s Maersk Pakistan and the QICT are blackmailing importers for the clearance of their shipments, and collection of demurrage and detention charges from importers is intolerable as importers are facing huge obstacles in the clearance of their shipments on time due to their blackmailing.

He said that importers and exporters of Gujrat contribute huge portion of revenue in wake of taxes to Federal Board of Revenue, and the government. Illegal collection of demurrage and detention charges create serious business crisis in the region for importers and exporters for the clearance of shipments.

He said that these shipping companies are robbing huge revenue from importers by offering them discount at the initial stage but when the shipment reaches at port they demand additional charges without any reason. He said that these shipping companies are collecting unfair demurrage or detention charges from importers by violating set laws.

He demanded from Pakistan government to take action against above-mentioned shipping company and QICT which are involved in charging extra charges and they should be punished under rules 603(q), 603(r), 604(p), 604(q) & 607(e), others under SRO 1220/2015.