KARACHI: National Trade and Transport Facilitation Committee (NTTFC) has sought workable action plan to dispose-off all stuck-up containers at Karachi Port Trust (KPT) and Port Qasim Authority (PQA).
During its 29th meeting organized through digital platform, the NTTFC asked all the stakeholders to submit workable action plan to dispose-off all stuck-up containers at KPT and PQA.
In order to resolve the issue, the committee has constituted a working group to identify the legal or practical impediments and give suggestions in the Customs Act 1969 or other relevant procedures to reduce the burden of old stuck-up cargo and enhance operational capacity of ports.
Moreover, it was also suggested to form a sub-committee consisting of representatives from FBR (Customs), Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Ministry of Railways, Port Authorities etc in order to ensure timely and coherent disposal of the said cargo.
During meeting, the ministry of commerce through a presentation updated the committee on progress of Pakistan’s accession to framework agreement on cross border paperless trade and highlighted its affects and benefits for trade facilitation in the region.
Meanwhile, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) provided latest status of Pakistan’s progress under ratified international agreements like Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) and Transports Internationaux Routiers (TIR). During meeting, the KPT & PQA have shared the list of auctionable cargo lying at their respective ports.
Talking to Business Recorder, Arshad Jamal senior vice chairman All Pakistan Customs Agents Association (APCAA) said that around 5000 unclaimed containers were present only in KPT.
He said that he strongly urged the authorities during meeting to amend the existing procedures to eradicate flaws in the issuance of import licenses; adding that import license should be issued on sector-wise basis and the license holder should be restricted only to import specified commodity and not allowed to entertain any unregistered importers.
Replying to a question, he said that most of the containers stuck at ports were stuffed with trash, imported from developed countries and Pakistan was being used as dumping yard, due to ineffective law enforcement.
Moreover, he said that as per import policy order, shipping companies in any circumstances were bound to re-export all unclaimed containers to the exporting country and if the authorities strictly implemented the import policy order, no unclaimed container was laying at port. Arshad further said that during meeting, he also stressed upon the implementation of international practices for handling dangerous cargos at ports in order to avoid any untoward incident.