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Islamabad agrees to cross-stuffing of Afghan cargo

Islamabad agrees to cross-stuffing of Afghan cargo

Jan 24, 2020 - 08:58

PESHAWAR (Pajhwok): Pakistaninfo-icon’s Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has supported the idea of cross stuffing of Afghanistaninfo-icon-bound cargo at ports, a media report said on Friday.

At a meeting last month, Afghanistan urged the government of Pakistan to cross-stuffAfghan cargo at ports, which has been allowed in Iran to facilitate importers in terms of low shipping cost.

The meeting at the Pakistan National Shipping Corporationdiscussed the Afghan Transit Trade (ATT) issue and was chaired by the Maritime Affairs Division secretary.

Subsequently, the MoC agreed to support cross stuffing of Afghanistan-bound cargo at ports to enhance cost-effectiveness, the Business Recorder reported.

While endorsing the cross stuffing proposal, the Pakistan Customs said amendmentswere needed in customs rules. It promised taking up the matter internally for a speedy solution.

However, private terminal operators and All Pakistan Customs Agents Association warned that cross-stuffing activities would cause congestion at ports besides jacking up the cost of doing business.

Thy proposed cross stuffing should be conducted outside port terminals. But the Karachi Port Trust (KPT) rejected the argument and said it had enough space to facilitate cross stuffing.

The meeting was also informed that no progress had been made on establishing a joint common room at ports for coordination among Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), Quarantine Department, etc. Port authorities were directed to ensure compliance within two weeks.

The Directorate General of Transit Trade would regulate ATT-relatedissues from the Pakistan Customs side, with the Enforcement Collectorateleft with no role in the process of ensuring a one-window operation for ATT matters.

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