Shipping firms levy war risk surcharge

KARACHI (March 29 2003) : The shipping companies operating in the Gulf have announced to levy war risk surcharge with immediate effect at the rate of 30 dollars for 20-ft container and 60 dollars for a 40-ft box.

A leading shipping company official said on Friday that this was an interim surcharge and the insurance companies are still calculating the actual amount of levy, which would be announced later.

This is the second war risk surcharge imposed on the cargo shipped to Gulf from Pakistan and the first war risk surcharge was levied during the Afghan war which was started after the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.

The first WRS was levied at the rate of 150 dollars for a smaller box and 300 dollars for a bigger container.

The amount was later reduced to the minimal. Many shipping companies are not accepting cargo for Baghdad and Kuwait while there is normal shipment of cargo to Dubai and other ports in the region.

The new WRS has come after one week of the start of war in Iraq although, the shipping companies had warned their clients that the surcharge would be levied as soon as the war starts.

Shipping companies have also announced to increase bunker charges from April 1, 2003.

For Europe the bunker charges have been raised from 90 dollars to 95 dollars for a small box and from 185 dollars to 230 dollars for a bigger box.

The bunker charges for USA have been enhanced from 140 dollars to 175 dollars for a 20-ft container from 210 dollars to 260 dollars for a 40-ft container.

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