Nato goods worth millions of dollars rotting
KARACHI, July 14: Perishable goods worth millions of dollars that have been stuck at the country’s ports since the closure of Nato supply routes would have to be destroyed because they have crossed their expiry dates, official sources said on Saturday.
Although the Federal Board of Revenue has finalised rules and procedures for clearance and handling of the stranded cargo, the supplies would not be restored for another couple of weeks, the sources said.
They said the biggest issue was demurrage and other port charges running into billions of rupees.
Besides demurrage, the reefer containers incurred extra plugging charges for keeping the refrigeration units running.
M. Nasir Paracha, a clearing agent for Nato/Isaf cargo, said it might take another fortnight for removing such bottlenecks and streamlining the FBR procedure for such cargoes.
He said about 2,000 reefer containers (with refrigeration units) carrying thousands of tons of perishable goods had been stranded at Pakistani ports.
A customs official said the expired goods should be taken to Afghanistan and destroyed there, fearing that otherwise they would find their way into the local market.
The sources said several issues related to scanning charges and cost of providing security and escort of Nato containers by Pakistan Rangers would have to be settled before implementing the new FBR rules.
Movement of containers and deployment of more equipment for grounding and loading would also incur extra cost.