KARACHI: Director Transit Trade Karachi Ms. Zeba Azhar has asked terminal authorities to allow waiver of demurrage on all containers lying at the port since March 16, till such time all containers have crossed border after resumption of trade activities at the western border.
Likewise, the shipping companies/association may like to waive the container detention charges which will accrue on the containers after stipulated period of free days.
As many as 1,982 containers are lying at different ports including KICT, PICT, QICT and SAPT since March 16, 2020.
Approximately 1,618 containers are either stranded en-route to Chaman or are stacked inside Railway Yard Chaman; similarly, around 440 containers are either stranded en-route to Torkham or are stacked inside NLC Terminal Jamrud / Torkham.
The moratorium on Transit Trade activity at Western Border has resulted in tremendous difficulties being faced by Afghan Traders and other stakeholders due to anticipated escalation in cost of doing business.
The National Emergency situation which has led to halt of activity at Western Border, calls for relief measures to mitigate the miseries of the traders. Pakistan Customs being the vanguard agency which promotes trade facilitation works continuously to remove bottlenecks in smooth operation of trade flow.
Since Afghanistan is a landlocked neighboring country which predominantly relies on Pakistan for facilitating its trade volume under the Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement, 2010, it is incumbent upon the stakeholders in Pakistan to extend assistance in eliminating the hardships occurring as a consequence of special situation like the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected more than 190 countries across the globe and led to sealing of international borders.