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Importers demand automation in containers’ clearance process

Importers demand automation in containers’ clearance process

KARACHI: The importers have expressed their deep concern over the backlog of containers at the Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) at KAP-East Wharf and Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) at KAP-West Wharf.

They were of the view that business cost would be increased due to the backlog of the imported goods, as they are being paid extra amount in share of demurrage/detention against the stuck goods.

The importers demanded of the authorities concerned to introduce automation in entire clearance process, adding that it is imperative to eradicate corruption from the Customs Department.

Talking to Customs Today, the importers demanded of the high officials in Customs Department to take notice of the backlog of the imported goods, as it will directly affect the common man.

One of the importers on condition of anonymity alleged that Customs officials and terminal operators demand speed money from the importers for clearance of their containers.

“Negligence of Customs officials and terminal operators is a main cause in delay of containers’ clearance, as they are not fulfilling their duties”, he alleged.

“According to the Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO), a container should be cleared within 6 hours after it is grounded”, he informed.

He further said that the SRO is not being followed adding that the absence of skilled labour is also creating hurdles in way of clearance of containers on time.

“Containers are being laid unattended at KICT and PICT for several days after grounding, adding that many loopholes also exist in examination and assessment processes”, he added.