ISLAMABAD: Issue of demurrage and detention and excessive charges echoed in the Parliament. Advisor to the PM on Commerce, Textile, Industries & Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood has urged importers and exporters to file their grievances related to shipping companies’ additional and unfair charges issue with the Ministry of Commerce.
According to detail, Member National Assembly Faheem Khan raised the question in National Assembly session about exorbitant and excess charges being taken from importers and exporters by shipping companies and asked the Minister for Commerce and Textile to tell what protective measures have been taken by the government in this regard?
Advisor Ministry for Commerce and Textile Abdul Razak Dawood briefed the National Assembly that transport is a diverse sector and consists of various modes like road, air and sea transport. Primarily it is a private sector matter being dealt between shipping company and its clients. He said that the Ministry of Commerce is sensitized to the general and specific problems of Pakistani importers and exporters.
It is important to mention here that Customs Today was the first media house that raised the issue of demurrage and detention and additional charges being taken by shipping companies and looting the importers of billions of rupees. 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 this law is grossly being violated by shipping lines and their agents. As per Customs Act, 1969, the port cannot charge any demurrage or detention charges if Customs gives a certificate to importer titled ‘Delay and Detention Certificate’. But despite this certificate, importers goods’ are held illegally and they are charged with heavy demurrage.
After Customs Today unearthed the issue of blackmailing of shipping companies, it was later on covered by almost 30 TV channels and newspapers. Even, different chambers of commerce also urged the government to take action against these shipping companies. After that FIA and NAB started legal process against some of the shipping companies to stop their illegal practice. Now this issue is raised in the Parliament House, asking the Commerce Ministry to take measures against shipping companies.