PAKISTAN: Customs agents strike delays exports
A strike by customs agents at Pakistan's Quaid-e-Azam International Airport in Karachi has caused delays in garment shipments.
Around US$10m worth of garments meant for the US and EU have been held up at the airport due to the closure of the customs agents' offices. The strike, organised by the Karachi Customs Agents Association (KCAA), is in protest at the rise in goods handling charges at the airport's air freight unit.
Faisal Mushtaq, secretary general of the KCAA, says a 40% increase in warehouse charges violates an agreement reached last month between baggage handlers and customs agents. He also claims the strike will spread to Islamabad, Lahore and Rawalpindi if their demands are not met.
But overseas buyers are getting annoyed with Pakistani suppliers over the delay in garment shipments, says Shehzad Saleem, central chairman of the Pakistan Readymade Garments Manufacturers and Exporters Association (PRGMEA). He is urging the authorities to intervene and resolve the issue.
Although Pakistan has more than ten airports, but bulk of its air freight is being handled at the Karachi international airports.
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