Major freight service provider Maersk on Friday announced that it will temporarily suspend acceptance of C&F (freight prepaid) bookings from August 15.
In a notification to its customers, Maersk said the restrictions and limits imposed by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on outward consignment remittances to foreign carriers operating in Pakistan have enabled it to “accept your C&F (freight prepaid) shipments”. have been put in a very difficult position for the time being”.
“In order to maintain our services, we are compelled to temporarily suspend the acceptance of your C&F (Freight Prepaid) bookings with effect from 15th August 2022, until the remittance restrictions are eased/lifted by SBP. Doesn’t go away,” read the advice to customers.
However, the company said that it will continue to accept export bookings on free on board (FOB) (freight collect) terms as usual.
The sanctions come at a time when policymakers are looking to control dollar outflow as the country’s foreign exchange reserves have been depleted to a significant level.
The reserve position is crucial for Pakistan, which has been desperately seeking an inflow of dollars to meet its balance of payments needs. Low levels of reserves put severe pressure on its money market and the rupee saw its worst monthly performance in more than 50 years in July.
On Thursday, SBP said its reserves fell by $555 million, from $7.83 billion as of August 5, 2022.
The total liquid foreign reserves with the country stood at $13.56 billion. The central bank said the net foreign reserves with commercial banks stood at $5.73 billion.