Speedy transit: Pakistan cuts 80% of Afghan cargo scanning

At least 90% of goods will be cleared on arrival at Karachi port

Tahir Khan April 17, 2015
At least 90% of goods will be cleared on arrival at Karachi port. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Aimed at speedy consignments’ clearance process, Pakistan has decided to reduce the scanning process of Afghan transit cargo by 80% and clear 90% of goods on the first day of arrival.

Afghan traders had long been complaining about the delay of their imported goods at the Karachi port, however, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan, said in Kabul on Thursday that now only 20% of the cargo would be subjected to scanning leading to a clearance of 90% of Afghan consignments from 24 to 48 hours. Earlier, 100% of the cargo had to undergo scanning process.

The minister wrapped up his three-day visit on a positive note after he met President Ashraf Ghani, Chief Executive Dr Abdullah Abdullah, other senior officials and attended inaugural session of an exhibition of Pakistani products in the Afghan capital.

Khurram Dastagir told a news conference at Pakistani embassy in Kabul that Pakistan has also allowed Afghan trucks to carry goods not only to Wagah border but to bring Pakistani goods on their way back to Afghanistan.

Afghanistan’s acting commerce minister Muzammil Shinwari admitted that 80% of problems of the Afghan businessmen regarding the transit trade have been resolved during the three-day talks with the Pakistani ministers.

“Pakistan Railways is in the process of arranging to carry 400 containers of Afghan transit cargo per week to Torkham and Chaman by 1st July 2015,” the commerce minister said, adding that the government has taken these decisions to address the concerns and long-standing demands of Afghan traders.

He also raised various issues, with the Afghan president and commerce minister, including finalisation of the draft on Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Afghanistan, removal of financial guarantees on Pakistani goods which are being charged at 110% of the customs duty, issues of multiple entry visas for Pakistani businessmen and skilled workers.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 17th, 2015. 


SayWhat! | 6 years ago | Reply Most of these Afghan imports are aimed toward Pak market. I am sure we will see these goods crossing border into Afghanistan, only to appear back in Pak markets. Also, Indian goods that are under quota in Pak, now just found a convenient tax free rout back into Pak Fast Cash markets. Port & transit duty earned by the Govt is negligble to the loss Pak manufacturers are going face.
Ussama Yaqub | 6 years ago | Reply What about smuggling and loss of customs duty? .... For all I know, now these goods will be speedily available in bara and other black markets selling smuggled products!
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