KARACHI: Arshad Jamal, senior vice president of All Pakistan Customs Agents Association (APCAA) has said that the dwell time for customs clearance had been increased significantly, which was increasing the cost of doing business for the importers.

This increase in dwell time results into demurrage and detention charges on the importers. Containers are not imposed demurrage for five days and after that the demurrage is imposed. But, the examination and clearance is not completed in five days due to several bottlenecks created by Customs officials for want of speed money.

He said that 50 percent of the containers were examined, but it actually held clearance of the link containers.

Arshad Jamal held Customs examination staff for this delay in examination and clearance adding that Assistant and Deputy Collectors superseding the powers of examination officers have bound them to seek their approval of the examination reports.

Jamal said that examining officers were authorized to finalize their examination reports and there was no need of Ac/DC approval as per law.

KICT and QICT have equipped the examining officers with modern iPads to expedite the examination process, but due to the additional requirement of approval from AC/DC, this initiative has failed to yield results.

Besides, re-examination and ANF Examination containers also come at the terminal which further delays the clearance.

He said they were preparing recommendations in this regard which would be forwarded to Finance Minister, Chairman FBR and Chief Collectors recommending 24-hour examination; facilitation for expeditious payment of duty and taxes to eliminate speed money culture at bank level, formation of some authority/body to regulate the affairs of shipping lines, elimination of second assessment review .

He appreciated Collector Appraisement East Manzoor Memon and said that he had bound assistant and deputy collectors to conduct hearings till 1500 hours to solve the issues of clearing agents. He said that Manzoor Memon has implemented a discipline at the collectorate to facilitate trade, which has improved performance of Appraisement East.


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