Bonded carriers condemn illegal detention of transit trade vehicles and containers

KARACHI: All Pakistan Customs Bonded Carrier Association has approached all provincial governments and police authorities complaining against the detention of their vehicles and containers by law enforcement agencies to block routes and motorways as their strategy to discourage protestors from joining opposition parties’ long-march and sit-in.

In a letter to Director General Transit Trade, Chief Secretaries and Inspector General (IGs) of four provinces, Chairman All Pakistan Customs Bonded Carrier Association Shams Burney noted that vehicles carrying Afghan transit goods and many on their way back, after delivering the cargo to its destination, were held by police and other local law enforcement agencies for their convenience.

“This is a very sensitive issue as the Afghan transit goods are exempted from all the duties/ taxes and are to be delivered within specified time to its destination, as the delay and any damage to the cargo have its own repercussions. Huge government revenue is involved in it and Pakistan is obligated to allow Pakistani land routes to the transit cargo meant for Afghanistan being a land locked country without haste,” Burney noted.

He noted the transportation cost of the transit goods included safe and sound delivery of the cargo within the specified time period to its destination and bringing the empty containers back to the respective shipping lines.

Burney noted the shipping lines keep a security deposit of Rs600,000/container, which is refunded on safe return of empty container. Moreover, the shipping line charges $100 to $150/day on account of container detention charges. “The total burden is on Afghan trader but, under this kind of circumstances where local agencies are holding the containers and vehicles this is not the case as the Afghan importer would straightaway refuse to bear this loss. Moreover, they continuously agitate for the delay in deliveries of their consignments”.

Burney warned that any untoward happening to the transit cargo would create a mess with the transit trade space and the relationship of two neighboring countries would be affected.

All Pakistan Customs Bonded Carrier Association has urged the authorities that concerned quarters might be advised not to hold/detain transit cargo vehicles and containers (whether loaded or empty) and release all detained vehicles and containers.

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