Karachi: The Karachi Customs Agents Association (KCAA), representing the Customs Agents Community, vehemently denies the allegations recently made by Mr. Asim Siddiqui, Chairman of the All Pakistan Shipping Association (APSA), in a news article published in Daily Jang on January 31, 2024.

KCAA, as the leading representative body of Customs Agents, strongly condemns the accusations levied against customs agents by APSA. It is establish facts that all financial transactions, including Container Security Deposit and Delivery Order Charges, are diligently paid by traders through Pay Orders. Shipping companies strictly adhere to the requirement of Pay Orders and do not accept any payments without proper documentation.

Contrary to the allegations, it is revealed that shipping companies engage in practices that adversely affect trade, creating financial burdens on traders. The absence of adequate legislation has provided shipping companies with undue liberty in their operations. These companies impose detention and other charges, remitting significant amounts to their principals abroad, leading to a loss of valuable foreign exchange. In contrast, Customs Agents contribute significantly to the economy by facilitating revenue collections.

KCAA draws attention to the issue of Terminal Handling Charges (THC), which are charged twice – once by shipping companies and once by terminal operators. This double charging imposes a substantial financial burden on traders. The association has received numerous complaints about the high handedness of shipping companies, demanding undue payments for dirty, oily, and damage charges, despite these charges being covered by insurance amount, which is already charged by the shipping companies along with the delivery order charges.

The association urges the competent authorities of the Federal Board of Revenue and Pakistan Customs to take immediate and serious action on the matter. KCAA emphasizes the implementation of the rules outlined in Chapter XXVI of Shipping Agents Rules, as notified in the SRO.450(I)/2001. Furthermore, there is a pressing need to appoint a regulatory body to monitor the activities of all shipping companies and lines, ensuring transparency and fairness in their operations.

KCAA remains committed to the welfare of its members and the promotion of ethical practices within the shipping and customs sectors. The association demand that the allegation made by the APSA should be proved and share evidence otherwise they must apologies for this unethical act.