SAPM Mahmood Moulvi advises Customs, FBR to probe ocean carrier surcharges

Staff Reporter

Special Assistant on Maritime Affairs Mr Mahmood Moulvi has advised Customs and the FBR to seek an explanation from ocean carriers about congestion and other surcharges levied on exporters and importers.

The prime minister’s aide suggested that the Customs and the FBR should ask ocean carriers to provide details about their surcharges and other fees to ensure they are in accordance with the law.

Mr Moulvi said Pakistan should assess whether the surcharges were initiated properly in accordance with legal and regulatory obligations.

He said the responses from the carriers should be reviewed to determine if the charges are clearly defined, what event or condition triggers the surcharge and how it can be terminated.

It was reported that the US Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has asked eight major global ocean carriers – CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, HMM, Matson, MSC, OOCL, SM Line and Zim – to provide details about their congestion and related surcharges.

In many countries including the US, ocean carriers are subject to specific requirements related to tariff changes or rate increases, including providing 30 days notice to shippers and ensuring that published tariffs are clear and definite.

The special assistant advised that Pakistan should also implement such regulations to ensure that ocean carriers do not fleece Pakistani importers and exporters.

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