MULTAN: Collection of illegal demurrage and detention charges from importers through blackmailing of shipping company M/s Maersk Pakistan Pvt Ltd and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) for clearance of genuine shipments, creating serious concerns for importers. National Accountability Bureau must take firm action against Shipping company Maersk and QICT for spoiling healthy business environment through collection of irrational demurrage and detention charges from importers.
It was stated by Senior Vice President of Multan Tax Bar Association Muhammad Imran Ghazi regarding blackmailing of few shipping companies at port. He said ‘we support National Accountability Bureau’s ongoing drive against corruption in the country which will make corruption free Pakistan. Corruption-free Pakistan is need of the hour for national economy aimed at providing favorable environment to the business community for the promotion of trade and industry in the country’.
He said South Punjab is hub of trade in the Province which contributes huge portion in collection of revenue and provides investment opportunities but its genuine importers and exporters are facing grave issues at Karachi Ports for the clearance of their shipments.
Multan Tax Bar Association showed deep concerns over exorbitant charges collected by a few shipping companies in wake of demurrage and detention charges for the clearance of their import shipments. These illegal charges collected by shipping companies cause obstacles in clearance of shipments and financial loss to importers and exporters.
He said that Multan Tax Bar Association categorically condemned blackmailing of shipping companies, their agents and terminal operator for charging illegal demurrage and detention charges. Shipping companies illegal act of demurrage and detention collection is unjustified and destroys business environment for genuine importers in the country.
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 incurs financial loss which enhances their cost of business.
It is pertinent to mention that vide SRO 1220 and section 14A of Customs Act 1969, which clearly stated that no demurrage or detention charges would be taken after issuance of delay and detention certificate by the customs authorities to importer but even then shipping lines and terminal operators charge additional charges from importers which is against the customs laws and rules.
Multan Tax Bar Association has been receiving frequent complaints from importers and exporters of South against unnecessary delay in the clearance of their import shipments and additional charges taken by few shipping companies including M/s Maersk Shipping Line and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) under the head of demurrage and detention against the set law.
He demanded from National Accountability Bureau to take strict action against shipping company M/s Maersk Shipping Line and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) for collection of illegal demurrage and unlawful hidden charges from importers.