Banks allowed to directly remit freight charges abroad

KARACHI (May 16 2006): The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has allowed the authorised dealers to effect remittances of locally collected freight charges to their principals abroad, directly on behalf of concerned freight forwarders/consolidators.

The SBP, in its FE circular No 06, released here on Monday, said that the decision has been taken to further facilitate the industry. As declared under the Trade Policy 2005-06, freight forwarders were allowed remittance of locally collected freight charges to their principals abroad. However, such remittances would require SBP's prior approval.

It has been decided to allow Authorised Dealers to effect such remittances directly on behalf of concerned freight forwarder/consolidators. Authorised Dealers have, therefore, been allowed to remit, on monthly basis, the surplus freight by the Freight Forwarders/Consolidators, after verification of documentary evidence in support of the remittance.

In order to mitigate inherent risks and establish genuineness of the transactions, Authorised Dealer will require verification through the following documents at the time of allowing monthly remittances: Clients letter, indicating purpose of remittance, particulars of the beneficiary and beneficiary's bank, Agency Agreement with counterpart abroad (Annually), NTN and PIFFA Membership Certificates (Annually), Certificate from a practising Chartered Accountancy firm to the effect that the amount of remittance applied for has been verified with reference to authenticated copies of prepaid Master Airway Bill/Master Bill of Lading with the related House Airway Bill/House Bill of Lading, cargo manifests and billed invoices from counterparts abroad, and had been found correct, M – Form Statement of Freight Collected and/or Payable Abroad Against Shipments Made During the Month (Annexure – I), Statement of Freight Payable against Imports on Consolidated Basis by Air/ Sea during the month (Annexure – II), Monthly Statement of Air/Sea Cargo Consolidation (Annexure – III). Authorised Dealers will have to report all such transactions to Foreign Exchange Operation Department (FEOD), SBP-Banking Services Corporation, Karachi with copies of supporting documents obtained from the Freight Forwarders/Consolidators by the 15th of the following month.

They will also retain copies of all such supporting documents at their remitting branches for SBP inspection as and when required or called for.

SBP further advised that the Shipping Companies/Airlines or their authorised agents may issue Master Bill of Lading (MBL) /Master Airway Bills (MAWB) in the name of the Freight Forwarders (as shippers) only if the same conforms to the following: Name of the Freight Forwarders/Consolidators is mentioned followed by the wording “for and on behalf of beneficial ownership of the actual exporters” along with their names, related House Bill of Ladings/Airway Bills' numbers and dates.

The above information may either be provided on the face of the MBL/MAWB or as an attachment with the notation on the MBL/ MAWB as per the “attachment, which constitutes an integral part of the MBL/MAWB”.

A clause must appear on the original transport document to the effect that the covered cargo will only be released /delivered to Freight Forwarders/agent at the port of discharge on presentation of a bank endorsed original House Bill of Lading. (Accordingly, HBLs/ HAWBs may only be drawn to the order of an Authorised Dealer.)

Under no circumstances, the freight forwarders/ consolidator/their agents or agents of shipping Company/ airline may surrender MBL/MAWB to the carrier/ agent in Pakistan and must instead be presented alongwith related HBLs/ HAWBs to the carrier by the Overseas Freight Forwarder/Agents at the destination/port of discharge.

Authorised Dealers and all concerned may be guided accordingly and ensure meticulous compliance thereof.

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