MULTAN: National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) should take strict action against M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd and Qasim International Container Terminal for collecting illegal demurrage and detention charges to address complaints of importers. Collection of exorbitant demurrage and detention charges from genuine importers is spoiling business environment in the country.
This was stated by Advocate Muhammad Faisal Tangwani while talking to Customs Today about the mega scam of demurrage and detention charges.
Blackmailing of M/s Maersk Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) has constrained importers from clearance of their shipments due to illegal charges imposed in wake of demurrage and detention and these companies have created serious obstacles in clearance of genuine shipments of importers.
He expressed that shipping companies should be charged under violation of laws and they are accountable for stealing huge revenue from importers through their blackmailing. He added that collection of demurrage and detention charges for the clearance of shipments without any specified agreement would be termed as criminal offense.
Importers of South Punjab and other cities are facing blackmailing of shipping companies for the clearance of their legitimate imported shipments and shipping companies are charging baseless demurrage and detention charges; otherwise importers have to face inappropriate delay in the clearance of their shipments which also causes them financial loss, he added.
He said collection of excessive demurrage and detention charges from importers is indefensible act and these shipping companies are also spoiling business environment in the country which will also upset our national economy.
He said that above-mentioned shipping company and port terminal cannot charge any demurrage or detention charges if Customs provided a delay and detention certificate to importers so M/s Maersk Pakistan and the QICT are illegally charging huge amount of demurrage and detention to importers and these companies are breaching the set laws.
He said that majority of genuine importers are compelled to pay extra money in shape of demurrage and detention charges for the swift handling of import shipments and if genuine importers refuse to pay illegal demurrage and detention charges then they face unnecessary delay in the clearance of import shipments which cause them huge financial loss as it enhances cost of doing business.
He demanded that National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency should take strict action against shipping companies involved in collection of excess logistic charges violating rules 603(q), 603(r), 604(p), 604(q) & 607(e), others under SRO 1220/2015 to protect importers from their blackmailing and recover looted amount from the shipping company and the terminal operator.