Pakistan Ship’s Agents Association (PSAA) is surprised to see the one-sided local media press coverage of the stakeholders/people in the business meeting held at KPT on 11th January 2024, which the Chairman, KPT, chaired. The media coverage was presumably based upon a press release issued by KCCI without consultation with PSAA to seek the views of other parties/stakeholders, which is contrary to reporting norms.
The PSSA added that KPT is a landlord port, not a regulator; therefore, Shipping Lines/Agents are not bound to report to KPT or subject to being regulated by KPT.
The shipping sector of Pakistan is a highly documented sector reporting to the State Bank of Pakistan, Tax Authorities, Pakistan Customs, etc.
Pakistan Customs duly licenses Shipping Lines/Agents operating in Pakistan and charges their customers as per their respective tariffs, which are easily available online.
Any outward remittance from Pakistan is checked and authorised by SBP; hence, SBP, not KPT, is the appropriate regulator.
As for KCCCI’s demand for uniform charges, equivalent to cartelisation, PSAA and its members are bound by the Competition Commission of Pakistan and its related laws.
Lastly, it is pertinent to note that Pakistan’s trade is wholly dependent on foreign shipping lines; hence, the kind of allegations and irresponsible statements levelled by KCCI and unduly supported by KPT impact foreign shipping lines’ interest in operating in Pakistan, thereby jeopardising Pakistan’s trade and further cementing the country’s reputation as an unfriendly destination for foreign businesses.