Karachi - Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Iftikhar Ahmed Vohra has urged Pakistan Customs to ensure speedy auction of cargo in thousands of stuck-up containers at the earliest in order to save ports from further congestion.

In a statement, President KCCI said that representatives of Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT), Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) and Qasim International Container Terminal (QICT), during a meeting, sought KCCI’s assistance in convincing the Customs authorities to quickly hold auctions of thousands of containers which remain stuck-up for many years, resulting in severe congestion at the ports.

KCCI Office Bearers were informed that thousands of containers carrying imported goods worth millions of dollars were lying unattended at the ports of Karachi and Bin Qasim since many years due to failure of importers to clear the cargo on payment of duty and taxes or any other issue along with the inability of Customs and port authorities to arrange timely auction of the un-cleared cargo.

He stated that the chronic problem of stuck-up containers requires concrete measures on sustainable basis to resolve the issue of prolonged delay in completing auction under the Customs Act within a specified timeline.

He recommended that a dedicated auction yard should be allocated for regular auction of un-cleared cargo after every 15 days with a view to speedily deal with port congestion while a committee should be formed comprising representatives of Karachi Chamber, terminal operators, Customs and port officials to monitor the overall progress.  President KCCI, while assuring support to terminal operators in resolving this pressing issue, requested Chairman Federal Board of Revenue Tariq Bajwa and Chief Collector (South) Pakistan Customs, to speed up the auction process as it was not only causing congestion at the ports but also resulting in severe losses to the national exchequer.