‘Import of goods’ cases at port or in transit’

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The State Bank of Pakistan on Monday withdrew the requirement of prior approval of imports and instead gave general guidance to the banks for prioritising import of certain essential items like food, pharmaceutical and energy.
The business community, including various trade bodies and chambers of commerce, highlighted that a large number of shipping containers carrying imported goods are stuck up at the ports, due to delays in the release of the shipping documents by the banks, said a press release issued on Monday.
Accordingly, SBP advised banks to provide one-time facilitation to all those importers who could either extend their payment terms to 180 days (or beyond) or arrange funds from abroad to settle their pending import payments.
Banks had also been advised to process and release documents till March 31, 2023, of shipments/ goods that have already arrived at a port in Pakistan or have been shipped on or before January 18, 2023, it added.
Furthermore, banks have been advised to educate their customers to inform their banks prior to the initiation of any import transaction for avoiding any complications in the future.