In order to address the issues faced by exporters, the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) has removed a major hurdle in the export of seasonal fruit to Europe, the UAE, and other countries.
CCP has addressed the issue of the mandatory condition of filing indemnity bonds by the exporters with international airlines.
The All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) and the Air Cargo Agents Association of Pakistan (ACAAP) had filed a complaint with the CCP under Section 37 (2) of the Competition Act 2010 against foreign airlines operating in Pakistan for alleged violation of Section 3 of the Competition Act.
The exporters had to give an undertaking of no claim or indemnity bond, which exempts the exporters from the loss incurred due to delay or damage caused during transit and handling.
Due to this condition, many exporters had to exit the mango export business as, in numerous cases, they had faced financial losses due to delays in fruit expiry issues.
CCP’s inquiry noted that contrary to international conventions and prevalent practice in other jurisdictions, Pakistani mango exporters were required to furnish an indemnity bond by all airlines (except Turkish), which absolves the airline of all responsibility of the loss.
On 9th June 2020, the authorized representative of the complainants informed the CCP Bench that subsequent to initiation of the inquiry by the Commission, the respondents i.e. foreign airlines waived the requirement of filing of indemnity bond/no claim, which exempts the respondents from the loss incurred due to delay or damage caused during transit and handling.
Subsequent to the removal of the said condition, the airlines are now responsible for dealing with the loss(es) or damage(s), if incurred, during the air carriage as this issue was pending for the last 15 years, and many exporters had left the export business due to this condition.
The representatives of the complainants appreciated the efforts of the commission during the inquiry proceedings, and also acknowledged the commission for their support and efforts to boost the exports.
They also accused the foreign airlines of charging higher rates on the export of mangoes from Pakistan, in comparison to the charges levied for exports from India for the same destinations.