KARACHI: The importers hold Ministry of Ports & Shipping and terminal operators responsible for backlogging of containers at Karachi International Containers Terminal (KICT) and Pakistan International Containers Terminal (PICT).
Sources told Customs Today that around 2,208 containers are laying unattended at the KICT and around 1,900 containers at the PICT, as the terminal operators demanding demurrage on cargo stuck during 12-day transporters’ strike from the importers. Whereas, Ministry of Ports and Shipping vide letter No. 1 (102013-Secy P&R) dated November 20, has announced waiving of demurrage on the cargo stuck during the transporters’ strike from Nov 7 to Nov 18.
On the other hand, the terminal authorities are of the view that they have not yet received any notification regarding waiving of the demurrage.
“Non-implementation on the notification is a major issue of the accumulation of the containers at the KICT and PICT”, importers added.
When contacted, Collector MCC-Appraisement (West) Muhammad Saleem said that the lack of space at the terminals is a major cause of backlog of containers, adding that the terminal operators also have to accumulate the containers in the examination area allotted to Pakistan Customs at both the terminals.
“I check the report of pending work on daily basis”, the Collector said.
To a query, Muhammad Saleem said that the each appraiser has to handle 15 to 25 Goods Declarations a day. However, the Customs officials have to work for hours due to shortage of manpower, he added.
Collector Muhammad Saleem claimed that not even a single container is on hold owing to hardworking Customs officials at KICT.
“The terminal operators have limited space and off-loading of Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) cargo due to stoppage of Nato supply is further aggravating the situation at terminals”, Collector said, adding that around 200 containers are examined and assessed on daily basis.
The Collector MCC-Appraisement (West) further said that the terminal operators already have more workload than their capacity. The Karachi Port Trust (KPT) should provide extra space to the terminal operators, he demanded.