KARACHI: Shipping lines operating in Pakistan seek to expand the scope of their operations, making deliveries of goods to the final destination as the country plans to broaden the scope of transit trade beyond Afghanistan and India.
All Pakistan Shipping Association (APSA) has proposed that the transit trade may only be allowed on carrier haulage i.e. shipment should be booked till final destination. “This way no shipping line would take security deposit or detention charges due to delay in transit by the carrier,” APSA noted in a letter to Customs authorities.
APSA mentioned that shipping lines did not own transport companies nor had Customs clearing licenses. As such they would contact the same transport engaged in transit trade, hence the issue of security deposit and detention charges of the trader would be solved. “It would also enable the lines to deliver the cargo without compromising the safety of the assets.”
APSA noted if a container/shipment is booked till Afghanistan and freight is paid to shipping line till Afghanistan, then neither security deposit is required nor any detention shall be charged by shipping lines. Container is moved to Afghanistan at shipping line’s risk and cost.
However, if an Afghan shipment is booked till Karachi, shipping line’s obligation and responsibility under ‘Contract of Carriage by Sea’ is ceased at Karachi and onward transportation is arranged by customers at their own risk and cost under another contract of carriage in which shipping line is not a party.
Customs authorities had raised the issue of exorbitant container security deposit and container detention charged by shipping companies in case of transit trade. Responding, APSA noted the shipping lines did not benefit or run of security deposit. “This amount collected by foreign companies is deposited in a separate account and cannot be utilized for other purposes. Security deposit is not an asset for shipping lines, but an administrative hassle and liability.”