Customs Agents Call for Legislation to Regulate Shipping Lines and Terminal Operators

Customs Agents Call for Legislation to Regulate Shipping Lines and Terminal Operators

Karachi, October 26, 2023 – In a move aimed at safeguarding the interests and rights of traders, customs agents, and other stakeholders, members of the Karachi Customs Agents Association (KCAA) have called upon the government to enact legislation to regulate shipping lines and terminal operators.

The demand was made during a delegation’s visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) on Thursday.

Led by President KCAA, Arshad Khurshid, the customs agents’ delegation urged the KCCI to advocate on their behalf with the government. They seek the implementation of regulations to curb the excessive charges levied by shipping lines and terminal operators, who have been operating without a regulatory framework, causing financial distress to importers and businesses.

During discussions held at the KCCI meeting, the KCAA delegation highlighted the long-pending Logistics Service Providers Regulatory Authority (LSPRA) Bill, which has been in limbo since 2013. They emphasized that despite assurances from lawmakers, the absence of legislation has emboldened shipping lines and terminal operators to impose exorbitant fees.

Arshad Khurshid, President of KCAA, stressed the need for enhanced collaboration between their association and KCCI to address the pressing issues faced by customs agents and importers. He stated, “We are always available to KCCI Office Bearers and Managing Committee for any kind of assistance they require in understanding and dealing with numerous issues.”

Iftikhar Ahmed Sheikh, President KCCI, expressed his commitment to making the regulatory framework for shipping lines and terminal operators a top priority. He emphasized that establishing an autonomous regulatory body and implementing the necessary regulations would create a conducive business environment, protecting the business community from financial losses due to excessive charges by these operators.

President Sheikh also proposed the formation of a joint team comprising representatives from both KCCI and KCAA to work collaboratively towards achieving the long-awaited regulatory framework.

To further enhance the business environment, President Sheikh stressed the importance of working jointly and utilizing the expertise of both institutions to compile necessary recommendations for the federal budget and government amendments. He recognized KCAA’s vital role in raising a strong voice for resolving customs-related issues.

President Sheikh also encouraged KCAA to involve fresh talent and younger members in their association to efficiently address issues faced by the business community, while also seeking the guidance of senior KCAA members. He urged KCAA members to actively participate in KCCI’s subcommittees to help improve their performance and address various customs-related and business community issues.

The demand for legislation to regulate shipping lines and terminal operators is a significant development in Karachi’s business landscape, with hopes that it will bring much-needed relief to traders, customs agents, and businesses affected by excessive charges and lack of oversight in the shipping and logistics sector. The collaborative efforts of KCAA and KCCI aim to pave the way for a more regulated and efficient business environment.

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