Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has requested shipping lines and their agents to waive container detention and other charges in addition to the free period from 25 March to 16 April 2020.
The board wrote a letter to Chairman All Pakistan Shipping Association and Pakistan Ship Agents Association requesting them to give relief to the traders who were hit hard by the prevailing lockdown situation due to the spread of COVID-19.
The letter stated that
Pakistan is currently facing a great challenge to address the issue of COVID-19. As a result of lockdown and restriction of movement of people/vehicles, the time duration of lifting the cargo from ports is exceeding the free-time as allowed to the importers under the normal course of business.
Given the current situation and to facilitate trade, the Federal Board of Revenue has issued instructions in this regard to different stakeholders that demurrage and detention charges may not be charged from the importers for a period of 15 days in addition to the free time allowed by port authorities.
All shipping lines and their agents may be requested to extend free days in respect of container detention and not charge container detention charges and other charges in connection with the late delivery of goods for the period of March 25 to April 16 in addition to free days already allowed by shipping lines and their agents, the letter stated.
The slowdown in the business activities has taken a toll on the local industries and trade in the country. In the near future, the demand for various goods and commodities will remain low due to the prevailing situation that could cause huge losses to local companies and businessmen.