Department of Plant Protection, Karachi Chamber joint committee to solve quarantine, phytosanitary issues

KARACHI: Department of Plant Protection (DPP) and Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to timely resolve numerous issues being faced by the importers and exporters of various commodities whose consignments remain stuck up at ports for many days.

The commerce division issued SRO 1067 (I)/2017 to amend the Import Policy order 2016 in October 2017 linking import of around 600 items including herbs, spices, fruits, dry fruits, grains, recipes, convenience food, and other edible raw materials with animal quarantine department certification, phytosanitary certification, and plant protection release order of ministry of national food security and research.

Speaking at KCCI, Director General (Quarantine), DPP, Dr. Falak Naz stated that many issues pertaining to extensive tests and delays in issuance of import permits and certifications were highlighted by KCCI members. “These issues are not so complicated, DPP will accordingly take steps to ease the overall process and provide relief to both – the importers and the exporters. We will frequently hold dialogues and maintain interactions with KCCI in order to resolve the issues being faced by traders as we want to create an enabling environment for everyone”, he added.

A large number of import and export consignments remain stuck up to ports for many days because of the extensive formalities causing severe losses on account of demurrages and detention.

Dr. Falak Naz advised KCCI to finalize nominations for the joint committee comprising relevant stakeholders while the formation of this committee and its nominations from DPP would  be decided in the next internal meeting of the department.

“DPP has to ensure quality imports and quality exports at any cost. Therefore, the department has to adopt stringent measures to save the country from infiltration of any disease through the imported commodities.”

President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda pointed out that the importers complained of difficult procedures and delays in getting all the requirements and testing completed. “Sometimes, they are forced to extend under the table payments in addition to the official testing fees while at times a substantial quantity of the imported product was taken by the authorities in the name of sample for testing which require special attention,” Makda complained.

He said all the procedures were manual involving several steps, while getting all the no objection certificates (NOCs) and approvals from diverse departments opened doors for harassments and corruption. “DPP is regularly blamed for descending exports because of its relaxed approach, lack of required infrastructure and professional leadership,” Makda said and requested DG Quarantine to simplify procedures and create some kind of liaison between KCCI and DPP to minimize the grievances being faced by traders.

Speaking on the occasion, Director Technical DPP Dr. Muhammad Tariq Khan said DPP had developed a website which would provide many facilities and detailed information, besides enabling the stakeholders to fulfill most of the DPP requirements online.

President KCCI Junaid Esmail Makda, Senior Vice President KCCI Khurram Shahzad, Vice President KCCI Asif Sheikh Javaid, Chairman Customs & Valuation Subcommittee Waseem-ur-Rehman, Former President Haroon Agar, Former Senior Vice President Abdul Basit Abdul Razzak, Former Vice President Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Managing Committee Members and other stakeholders attended the meeting.

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