LAHORE - More than 1500 rice containers are stuck up at Kenyan customs clearance points due to cancellation of licenses of two port yards.

Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan chairman Shafique Ch said that shipments made by the Pakistani exporters had been stuck up at ‘Port of CFS’ and ‘Portside CFS’ in Kenya since 20th January, 2016 despite the fact that exporters had paid all local taxes and duties.

He said that approximately 1,500 containers, having about 37,500 metric tons of rice worth $13 million were held at these two CFSs without any specific reason.

Shafique Ch asked the government of Pakistan to approach the Kenyan authorities to press them to release hundreds of rice containers held at these ports.

“The REAP is also considering to send a delegation to Kenya to discuss the problems faced by them,” said chairman of the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan.

He also requested the High Commission of Pakistan, Kenya to intervene in the matter and coordinate with the Kenyan authorities to expedite the matter and resolve the problem of Pakistani rice exporters, so that Pakistani rice cargo could be released on priority basis.

Since Pakistan is one of the biggest importers of tea from Kenya, we believe that pressure exerted by the government of Pakistan and High Commission of Pakistan in Kenya will yield positive results, he said.

“In present case, importers are facing loss in the form of demurrage bills as a result of which our potential business to Kenya will also be suffered greatly.”

Shafique Ch said that Pakistan is one of the largest exporters of rice to Kenya, valuing $188,326,419 in fiscal year 2015. He said that issues the importers are facing in Kenya will have a negative effect on exporters in Pakistan in the form of late payments which will lead to a slowdown in exports.

“We hope that the problem will be taken up by Pakistani government with Kenya. It is a national issue and not anyone’s personal matter,” he said.