Container terminals ordered to stop charging $5 container scanning fee

KARACHI: The Ministry of Maritime Affairs has advised Port Qasim Authority (PQA) and Karachi Port Trust (KPT) to ensure discontinuation of charging of container scanning charges of $5/container by private container terminals.

Private container terminals at the KPT and PQA are levying scanning charges of $5 on each and every container handled by them through only 1.0-1.5 percent of the containers actually undergo scanning. Around 7,500 containers/day are processed (both import and export) at these two ports.

“The levy of such charges without use of scanning services is an undue burden on the local businesses and increases the cost of doing business and is therefore detrimental to the national economy,” Ministry of Maritime Affairs noted in a letter to PQA and KPT.

It may be mentioned here the levy of such charges is neither covered under any statute nor by the contracts executed between the two port authorities and the terminal operators.

“Levy of scanning charges especially in respect of containers, which are not subjected to scanning, also defies commercial rationale and business sense. On the contrary, no scanning charges are being levied at Gwadar Port by China Port Holdings (COPHI), as informed by Chairman Gwadar Port Authority,” the letter noted.

Ministry has advised KPT and PQA to immediately engage with the managements of private container terminals within their jurisdictions and issue necessary instructions to these entities to forthwith stop the levy of scanning charges on containers which are not selected for scanning.

Tariq Huda, Additional Secretary Commerce put in a lot of time and effort to get this illegal overcharging of Scanning Charges by the terminals at KPT & PQA stopped.

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