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ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has proposed the government to allow Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) to carry on pre-shipment inspection of wheat consignment through its already qualified pre-qualified Pre-Shipment Inspection Agencies (PSIAs), official sources told Business Recorder.

According to Commerce Ministry, in pursuance of various decisions of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on the summaries moved by MNFS&R, the Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) initiated procurement of wheat from open market, and on G2G basis. In order to ensure quality of imported wheat as per approved specifications, TCP conducts pre-shipment inspections through internationally recognized Pre-Shipment Inspection Agencies. Since the procurement is done on behalf of Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFS&R); therefore, all the procurement modalities, procedures and financial approvals are processed and conveyed by MNFS&R.

Commerce Ministry is of the view that in order to ensure quality of imported wheat as per approved specifications, TCP conducts Pre-Shipment Inspections through internationally recognized Pre-Shipment Inspection Agencies (PSIAs).

The decision of the ECC was ratified by the Cabinet on October 11, 2022. Subsequently, TCP highlighted that as there is no rating/ ranking procedure for PSIAs; therefore, it would be difficult for TCP to determine “top four” PSIAs as per decision of the Cabinet.

TCP, in its letter of December 15, 2022 requested that in the absence of any criteria for ranking, the following six internationally recognized global leading PSIAs already pre-qualified by TCP may be approved for the purposes of pre-shipment inspections at load ports. In support, TCP has also provided the annual turnover of these agencies: (i) M/s. Bureau Veritas, France;(ii) M/s. Intertek UK, United Kingdome; (iii) M/s. Control Union, Netherlands; (iv) M/s. Cotecna Inspection, Switzerland; (v) M/s. Baltic Control Ltd, Aarhus, Denmark and;(vi) M/s. Geo Chem.

The request of TCP was forwarded to MNFS&R as per practice for seeking approval of the TCP recommended PSIAs. However, MNFS&R on January 5, 2023 has conveyed that it may be done by TCP/ Ministry of Commerce.

Commerce Ministry has further stated that a number of wheat consignments are due in the coming months and it would be very difficult for TCP to mobilize them on time without approval of PSIAs, which could result in shortages of wheat in the country.

Keeping in view current situation, Commerce Ministry has proposed that TCP may be allowed to carry on pre-shipment inspection by their already pre-qualified PSIAs.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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