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Govt must take action against Maersk, QICT for looting genuine importers: Advocate Saima Ayub

Govt must take action against Maersk, QICT for looting genuine importers: Advocate Saima Ayub

MULTAN: Business community of South Punjab is facing serious block chain issues due to blackmailing of M/s Maersk Pakistan Pvt Ltd and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) for the clearance of legitimate import shipment due to collection of unfair demurrage and detention charges. Government must take special measures for protection of importers and economy of this import-dependent country by taking strict action against them.

It was stated by Advocate Saima Ayub while talking to Customs Today regarding illegal collection of demurrage and detention charges for clearance of genuine import shipments.

Illegal demurrage and detention charges charged by M/s Maersk shipping line and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) are causing disorder in the business community of South Punjab. Importers of South Punjab are facing blackmailing of shipping companies for the clearance of their legally imported shipments.

She said that shipping company cannot charge any demurrage and detention charges until it is not agreed between parties and mentioned on the bill of lading. M/s Maersk shipping line and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) are jointly violating set laws and procedures by imposing demurrage charges on importers and generating huge amounts from importers through blackmailing.

According to the Customs Act of 1969, Shipping Company and port authorities cannot charge any demurrage or detention charges if Customs provides a Delay and Detention certificate to importers but reportedly even with this certificate Shipping company M/s Maersk Pakistan is illegally charging demurrage amount to genuine importers and their act is open violation of Customs Act.

She said that illegal demurrage charges enhance business cost for importers which also increases the manufacturing cost of imported goods and it also asserts financial pressure on business community because high demurrage costs are grinding down importers confidence. Business community of South Punjab is already paying dual taxes on import shipments for the clearance after imposition of Punjab Infrastructure Development Cess (PIDC) and demurrage charges from shipment companies is causing unbearable financial burden on importers.

She said Government should protect importers from excessive import logistics cost which affects and damages the economy. Government should make sure that international norms and rules are followed in country for favourable business conditions.

She demanded that ministry of Ports and Maritime Affairs should intervene and take special measures for the implementation of laid procedure of shipping companies to protect importers from collection of illegal demurrage and detention charges. Government should stop M/s Maersk shipping line and and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT) for charging unfair demurrage and detention charges.