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i-maritime Newsletter

Plea for scanners at Vallarpadam, Kochi port gates - 2011-12-08

A writ petition has been filed before the Kerala High Court seeking a directive to the Customs authorities and Directorate of Revenue Intelligence to install equipment such as scanners at the main gate of the Cochin Port Trust (CPT) and also at the exit and entry points of the International Container Transhipment Terminal (ICTT), Vallarpadam, to ensure proper checking of containers.

The petition was filed by Mr T.X. Harry of Kochi. He sought a directive to India Gateway Terminal Ltd, which operated the Vallarpadam ICTT, and the Cochin Port Trust not to prevent customs officials, DRI officials and other security agencies from checking the containers inside the terminal.

The petitioner said that no proper checking of the containers was done inside the ICTT terminal or at the port's wharfs gates.

According to the existing procedure, the containers stuffed with various cargoes were examined by Customs officials at the warehouse of the exporter or the container station.  After examining the containers, the customs affixed a seal on the containers.

The Customs officers then checked them at the entry point of the ICTT to find out whether the seal was broken or tampered with.  The containers were not checked with any scanner so as to verify their contents.

There was a possibility of exporting contraband articles through the containers, the petitioner said.

Source: Hindu Business Line