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i-maritime News Service

New levies rock the boat for Exim trade at Kochi - 2013-06-15

The shipping fraternity at Kochi Port is up in arms over the different forms of charges levied by DP World, the terminal operator, on various services offered at Vallarpadam ICTT (International Container Transshipment Terminal). This has increased the overall costs incurred by the Exim trade to and from the ICTT, sources said, adding that the charging of such levies would drive away the trade from Kochi.

According to the sources, Rs 500 per 20 ft container is collected for the pre-shipment facility, against the earlier Rs 22 per container at the Ernakulam Wharf. Regrettably, operations at the Ernakulam Wharf were shut down with the commencement of the facility at ICTT Vallarpadam. A late arrival charge of Rs 2,500 per box is also adding to the cost. Likewise, the weight amendment charges at Rs 2,500 per box, status change charges (Rs 2,500 per box), charges to remove containers from the stack, etc lead to additional expenses to the trade. Apart from this, marine exporters have to bear additional charges of Rs 800 for any variations between the set temperature of the reefer container and the temperature observed at the time of plugging at the export container yard in the terminal.

The shipping fraternity also opposed of the decision of the Customs Department to move all import containers to private container freight stations (CFSs) for clearance. Previously, only containers marked for examination (around 10 per cent) were moved to CFSs. After the examination and the passing of an ‘out of charge’ order, the rest of the containers were delivered directly from the terminal.

Refuting the allegations, senior DP World officials told Business Line that the service provided at ICTT for pre-shipment was not mandatory and the shipper can choose any CFS to complete such procedures. However, the charges at other CFS range from Rs 650 to Rs 700 per container. Besides, the service at ICTT is available 24x7 against 10 am to 5 pm at other private CFSs.

Earlier, the shipper had to transport the container to ICTT and go all the way to Willingdon Island to complete pre-shipment. With the facility now being provided at ICTT, all such activities happen under one roof, resulting in time and cost saving, the officials said. They also clarified that the late arrival charges are levied as per the TAMP (Tariff Authority for Major Ports) tariff for only those containers that require a special service. Normal containers arriving at the terminal do not incur any of these charges.

On the collection of Rs 800 for any variations between set temperatures of reefer containers, the officials pointed out that such charges would be applicable only if there is a violation of more than five degree over the set temperature of the container.

For normal reefer containers arriving at the set temperature, there are no additional charges, they pointed out.

Source: The Hindu Business Line