KARACHI: Karachi Customs Agents Association (KCCA) at a meeting at MCC Preventive has highlighted the issue of congestion charges being charged by various shipping lines at KICT. The meeting was chaired by Additional Collector HQ MCC Preventive Dr. Muhammad Nadeem Memon with all stakeholders including Karachi Customs Agents Association (KCCA), Pakistan Ship's Agents Association (PSAA), All Pakistan Shipping Association (APSA), Pakistan International Freight Forwarders Association (PIFFA), Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT), M/s. CMA CGM Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd & M/s. APL Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd. Khurarn Ijaz, President, KCAA briefed the issue to all the participants pertaining to unwarranted Port Congestion Charges being introduced by the Shipping Agents/Lines at KICT. He informed that few months ago there was port congestion in KICT; however, currently there is no port congestion at KICT. The traders are facing huge financial loss due to the extra charges, which they have to pay to the shipping lines on the pretext of port congestion charges. These charges by the shipping companies are exorbitant and unjustified. He said shipping companies may be directed to not charge these congestion charges Representative of Shipping Lines M/s APL and M/s CMA CGM and of Pakistan Shipping Agent Association (PSAA) informed that there is a delay of 8-10 days in clearance of vessels due to which shipping lines are suffering huge losses and losing their business rapidly. To avoid financial losses due to unnecessary detention of containers at the port, shipping lines decided to impose port congestion charges. Imtiaz representing KICT confirmed and informed that though previously there was congestion at port but now situation has improved. Presently there is no congestion at Port and dwell time for clearance has reduced considerably. Therefore, there is no rationale to levy Port Congestion Charges. M/s. APL Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd informed that though their company has started charging this amount yet they will observe the congestion status at KICT and in case the contention of representative of KICT is found to be true during next 2-3 weeks then they will recommend their company head office to withdraw port congestion charges. Representative of M/s. CMA CGM Pakistan (Pvt) Ltd informed that their company has notified for Charging Congestion Charges w.e.f 28.03.2017, yet they will also monitor contention of KICT for 2-3 weeks and if found true then they will not charge this additional amount. It was highlighted by the chair that shipping agents being the licensee of Customs Department should ensure that trade of the country should not be made to suffer on account of such Port Congestion Charges when reportedly there is no congestion at Port as informed by the KCCA and representative of KICT.