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i-maritime News Service

SEZ norms will apply to sea-routed transhipment cargo at Vallarpadam - 2012-07-02

The Union Government has clarified that special economic zone procedures will apply to sea routed transhipment cargo at ICTT Vallarpadam. The Additional Commissioner of Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax are reported to have conveyed this message to industry stake-holders here in a letter last week. According to sources, the letter was issued following a meeting in New Delhi between officials in the Finance and Shipping ministries, which further clarified on the decisions taken earlier on clearing transhipment containers at Vallarpadam. It may be recalled that the Department of Revenue had issued a memo laying down certain procedures to clear transhipment containers at ICTT based on a decision taken at the meeting convened by the PMO. However, the recent meeting held in New Delhi on June 21 was clear that transhipment at Vallarpadam terminal, located within a special economic zone, would be handled under the SEZ procedures for sea routed foreign to foreign and foreign to India and India to foreign.

This means that containers originating in a foreign country and headed for another foreign country (moving through sea) via ICTT will be cleared by Customs at the Special Economic Zone.

Containers originating in India and going to a foreign country (sea-to-sea) will also be cleared by SEZ Customs. Similarly, containers originating in a foreign country and headed for a destination in India, moving via the sea, will also be cleared by SEZ Customs. However, containers originating in India moving either on road or rail into ICTT will be cleared by the Department of Revenue, Customs. Containers moving out of ICTT via road or rail will also be cleared by the Department of Revenue, Customs.

The sources said that the latest clarification is expected to help resume transhipment business at the ICTT, which is at a standstill since January this year. It is pointed out that the Department of Customs had been insisting on checking each of the transhipment containers for security reasons, which resulted in decline in transhipment business. According to sources, there was no such time taking procedures at other international transhipment terminals.

Source : Hindu Business Line