Afghan traders abandon 400 vehicles due to high demurrage charges
Containers loaded with vehicles have been stranded in the Karachi port for the past five months because the Pakistani government did not permit them to be transported to Afghanistan, deputy head of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce Khan Jan Alokozai told Pajhwok Afghan News.
The Korean vehicles, which were imported by Afghan traders, are priced less than their demurrage charges and other expenses, so the traders decided to leave their vehicles to Pakistani officials, he said.
He said that the traders would suffer hundreds of thousands of US dollars in losses by abandoning their vehicles.
Providing facilities for traders was the responsibility of the Afghan government, he said, and if the government could not do so, it should at least help solve the problem.
Only five or six cars can be placed inside a container, and each car costs between $1,200 and $45,000, while the two-month demurrage charges on a single container were $900,000, according to car dealer Raees Khan.
He said the Afghan government should either pressure the Pakistani government to waive the demurrage charges, or should compensate the traders for their losses. The 400 vehicles cost about $3.5 million, he added.
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