Khurram Ijaz, Vice President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry while delivering the welcome note said, during the meeting with the in-charge of the port control unit Anti-Narcotics Force, at FPCCI head office, that during the COVID-19 lockdown the world economy was shattering and here in Pakistan FPCCI being the apex body of trade and industry continued to support the trade and industry and we appreciate the role of ANF, carrying on the services as well to support the economy during the lockdown situation. Also, we highly appreciate the role of ANF which is serving as a deterrent to the illegal export of drugs and safeguarding the reputation and image of Pakistan which is a pre-requisite for export in the global market.

He expressed grave concerns over the complaints of exporters regarding damages of goods during the examination of container cargo at the ports, mostly issues arises in repacking as per our understanding. He said we will be grateful if informative sessions on precursor chemicals and training are arranged for the traders, handlers, agents, and other facilitators as are being arranged for customs.

FPCCI will welcome the liaison with the international organizations, the Government of Pakistan and Customs, and ANF in this regard and provide every possible contribution and support. FPCCI has signed MOUs with many countries to facilitate trade and business opportunities bilaterally. Now we have a better law and order situation and cross-border precautionary measures are satisfactory and will support the traders willing for legitimate trade.  It is high time to put combined efforts into the development of the economy in Pakistan.

Ayub in charge of the port control unit Anti-Narcotics Force stated in his address that we perform under our mandate which is to inquire, investigate and prosecute all offenses related to narcotics, intoxicants, and precursor chemicals. Major volume of the narcotics, natural drugs and travel via Pakistan; we have airports, seaport and a thousand-kilometer long coastline from Jeevani to Karachi, and also linked roads. We are striving to put barriers through the vast area.

He said that we know the regular traders do not involve in carrying drugs but when they offer carrier facilities to others without caution they suffered. We advise the traders to support only trusted people. We physically check only 1 to 5 percent suspicious containers and we have minimized the holding period, it is obvious that nobody can repack as original, but we allow traders to bring their team for repacking their goods.

While answering a question about single-window Muhammad Ayub replied that drug is a transnational crime, FBR, customs, coast guards, ANF and other departments are working under their authorities, we have limited access to only hold and release the containers at 4 terminals. We do not receive BL, invoice, or other documents, and customs reluctant to permit us access to the WeBOC system.

Shabbir Hasan Mansha Convener FPCCI Standing Committee on Customs raised a point that controlled chemicals may be marked in I-form and E-form and the trader should acquire a certificate which can prevent the illegal import/export of controlled chemicals. He also expressed his apprehension about the growing trend of using narcotics particularly ICE in the youth of Karachi.

President Karachi Custom Agents Association (KCAA) paid the vote of thanks to the participants and said in his concluding remarks that an awareness campaign is the need of the time to mitigate the hazards of examining procedure.