Importers seek clarity over shipments via Wagah

Updated August 18, 2019

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The fate of import shipments en route from India via Wagah/Atari and for which importers had established LCs (letters of credit) before Pakistan’s decision to suspend bilateral trade over abrogation of the special status of the Occupied Kashmir by New Delhi hangs in balance. — AFP/File
The fate of import shipments en route from India via Wagah/Atari and for which importers had established LCs (letters of credit) before Pakistan’s decision to suspend bilateral trade over abrogation of the special status of the Occupied Kashmir by New Delhi hangs in balance. — AFP/File

LAHORE: The fate of import shipments en route from India via Wagah/Atari and for which importers had established LCs (letters of credit) before Pakistan’s decision to suspend bilateral trade over abrogation of the special status of the Occupied Kashmir by New Delhi hangs in balance.

Although the Commerce Division on Friday clarified that the trade suspension decision with India will not apply to the shipments already in the pipeline via sea route and for which LCs were established or BLs (bill of lading) issued prior to Aug 9.

However, the commerce ministry failed to clarify the position of the shipments on way into the country via the land route for which LCs were established and BLs issued prior to the suspension of trade ties.

In a letter sent to the DG Trade Policy at the Commerce Ministry, the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has asked him to save the importers from losses and to also allow them to bring via sea their consignments that were already on way through the railway. “The same principle should be allowed to all consignments for which LCs have been established or BLs issued before Aug 9,” an importer requesting anonymity said.

The chamber has also asked the ministry to instruct the banks to release the payments of the shipments made before suspension of the trade ties with India through LCs and bank contracts without delay.

Published in Dawn, August 18th, 2019