KCCI seeks policy to save importers from coronavirus losses

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KARACHI: Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan on Monday requested the Ministry of Maritime Affairs (MoMA), the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to introduce a special policy to save the importers from coronavirus losses following a ban on imports from China.

In a statement, the KCCI’s office-bearer said the importers of various goods and commodities have been facing certain challenges owing to the ban.

Khan urged the relevant authorities to issue a notification in which the port authorities and all terminal operators must be advised to refrain from imposing demurrage and detention charges on those consignments which had already arrived at the Pakistani ports from China but were not being cleared.

“Any demurrage or detention charges already applied on such consignments must immediately be waived off”, he added.

Khan said many importers, while seeking the KCCI’s assistance, had informed that their imported consignments from China had been put on hold at some ports in order to prevent the deadly coronavirus outbreak in Pakistan, which had terribly affected the capital of Hubei province, Wuhan and resulted in casualties in hundreds.

“Many import related documents have also not been received by the relevant importers as no parcels are arriving from China and other affected countries, making it impossible for the importers to timely fulfill all the documentation formalities which are required for the clearance of imported good,” he said, adding their consignments remained blocked at the ports were resulting in additional demurrage and detention charges.

“We fully understand the sensitivity of the issue and support the government’s moves to save Pakistan from the outbreak, but the importers should not be penalized and relief has to be provided to the perturbed traders by waiving the demurrage and detention charges,” the KCCI president maintained.

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