KARACHI: All Pakistan Shipping Association (APSA) is the representative body of shipping lines, terminal operators, stevedores, off-dock terminals and ICDS (dry ports) and are law abiding entities and key stakeholders for contributing not only major share of tax to the national exchequer but also plays a vital role in Pakistan’s economic growth by facilitating import/export trade of the country. It handles almost 75% of containerized cargo of Pakistan.
In a press release, APSA raises its great concerns and categorically rejects all the allegations leveled against its members and shipping industry as whole, related to demurrage and detention charges.
APSA fervidly denies any malpractice or collection of illegal charges by its members including PICT or there exists any connivance between carriers, terminal operators and Pakistan Customs. It also condemns the discreditable allegations imposed to defame the credibility of highly reputed executives, foreign organizations and customs officials.
APSA clarifies that there is no role of the carriers or terminal operators for delaying or releasing goods after its discharge. Containers are kept at terminals for customs clearance and delivery is taken by importers as per their own convenience.
APSA further clarifies the stance of its members that tariff would always be collected from merchant as agreed under contract of carriage terms and conditions in accordance with international practices.
Carriers and terminal operators are private entities and they incur cost if container remains dumped at terminal for longer period after its discharge pending customs clearance; however they are providing free days to its customers to facilitate them to complete the custom process/clearance without their contractual obligation.
It is pertinent to mention that thousands of import containers are stuck up at terminals either waiting for clearance or cargo auction and both the carriers and terminal operators incur heavy losses in term of space and non-utilization of equipment but regrettably no one is paying any heed to resolve this issue for last more than a decade. As per available statistics, there are also several hundred “fully released” containers lying dumped at the terminals which are being used as storage yards for these fully released containers.
APSA hopes that print & electronic media will allow its perspective on behalf of its member shipping lines and terminals so that the correct facts can be brought to light.