LAHORE: Shipping industry in developing countries like Pakistan is very important for development of the country and when these companies start blackmailing of the importers through its agents and dealers, it can destroy the economy of the country.
This was stated by PVC scrap importer and senior member of All PVC Pipes Manufacturing Association Lahore Mian Islam while talking with Customs Today in Shahdara.
He said blackmailing and tactics of Shipping Companies like M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, Pacific International Lines (PIL) and its agents in Pakistan, M/s Pacific Delta Shipping (Pvt) Ltd at Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) has shackled the economy. Shipping companies have misplaced the image of port and trust of importers over the collection of inequitable charges of demurrage and detention on clearance of shipments. National Accountability Bureau must take strict action against the said shipping companies involved in the collection of unjustified detention and demurrage charges from importers to redress complaints.
Pakistani PVC pipe scrap and other importers of related items are already facing many issues due to change in rates of dollar and shipping companies are increasing problems, he added.
He said that government needs to adopt zero-tolerance policy against corruption in the country to curtail this menace. Business community and importers are always ready to pay reasonable taxes to government but shipping companies are robbing huge revenue from importers in shape of demurrage and detention charges without any logic. He said that there is no check and balance on the shipping companies and we need to implement accountability laws on shipping companies to stop their corrupt practices.
He said shipping industry plays the pivotal role in national economy as all importers and exporters obtain facility of shipping companies for the clearance of their legal shipments. But few shipping companies are creating serious hurdles for the importers for the clearance of their legitimate shipments by charging them excessive demurrage and detention charges without any justification.
According to law, shipping lines are not allowed to collect any demurrage and detention amounts from the importer when the importer provides ‘delay and detention certificate’ under section 14 A of the Customs Act, 1969. But shipping companies are breaching set laws and procedure for the collection of illegal charges, he added.
He said that Chairman NAB should take stern action against M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd, Pacific International Lines (PIL) and its agents in Pakistan, M/s Pacific Delta Shipping (Pvt) Ltd for demanding extra demurrage and detention charges from importers.