PESHAWAR: Frontier Custom Agents Association (FCAA) has expressed its grave concern over decision of Customs Department regarding shifting of Afghan Transit goods from One Customs to Web-Based One Customs (WeBOC) that caused detention of containers and trucks at Karachi port and enforcement of hefty demurrages.

In an hurriedly called meeting of FCAA under chairmanship of its President, Zia-ul-Haq Sarhadi, the office bearers of Frontier Custom Agents Association said changes in system has created problems in de-sealing process at Karachi particularly for goods originating from Torkham and Chaman and bound for Karachi port entries.

According to a press release issued here on Sunday, the meeting of FCAA was attended by its office bearers including SVP, Kahlid Shezad, VP Imtiaz Ahmad Ali and Secretary General, Mian Waheed Bacha. The participants of the meeting observed that due to sudden imposition of ban on filing of GD (Goods Documentation) under One Custom transit system, the custom clearing agents were directed to file GDs through WeBOC.

The trading community and custom clearing agents were also assured that the WeBOC system contains all options for entries and every kind of consignment can be cleared under this system. However, they continued, when Afghan Reverse cargo after getting loaded from Torkham, Ghulam Khan and Chaman cargo reached Karachi port and faced problems in de-sealing of containers due to non-functioning of the WeBOC system. Due to delay in de-sealing because of non-functioning of WeBOC system, the containers and trucks are held for several days as a result of which huge demurrage and detention fines are charged on traders.

The FCAA office bearers said that they had raised this issue at several forums with requests for resolution, but no heed was given by authorities concerned. They demanded of Chairman FBR, Asim Ahmad, Member Custom Operation FBR, Mukarram Jah Ansari, DG Transit Trade, Wajid Ali and other concerned officials to take notice of problems being faced by business community and custom clearing agents and allow utilization of One Custom system until specific modules for Afghan reverse cargo are incorporated.

The cooperation by concerned officials of FBR and Custom Department will greatly contribute to the smooth flow of Afghan transit reverse cargo and foster a better trading environment, they hoped.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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