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Threat of Indian ports becoming feeder ports if the stringent sea cargo manifest is enforced says the EX IM Trade in Chennai

With the implementation of Sea Cargo Manifest report by the Customs the ease of doing business would take a back seat and Indian ports may face the prospect of becoming feeder ports Mr C R Raghavendra, the newly elected chairman of the Chennai and Ennore Steamer Agents’ Association.(CHENSAA) said.

Sea Cargo Manifest if implemented mainline vessels may skip Indian ports

Talking to Sagar Sandesh immediately after taking over leadership  of CHENSAA, Mr Raghavendra said with the stringent rules imposed on the EX IM Trade following the implementation of  the some of the provisions of  the Sea Cargo Manifest  (SCM)from August One, there is every chance that the main line vessels may skip Indian ports.

The new sea cargo manifest rules which is being implemented by the customs authorities from August one in a phased manner in all the Indian ports. It will be implemented on a trial basis for the first ninety days.

Under the new regulations the steamer agents are bound to declare the details of the cargo kept in containers on board though they are not meant for discharge in Indian ports. The trade is ready to declare the container number and the port of discharge but that is not considered adequate by the authorities.

New regulations insist on details of the cargo, trade sees no point in it

The trade is of the view that there is no point in declaring the details of the cargo which is not meant for discharge in Indian ports. The authorities also insist on knowing the identity of the shipper and the consignee.

Insistence of 10 lakh deposit, small businesses go out of business

The customs are also insisting that all non AEO clients to deposit a sum of Rs ten lakhs as deposit on a Pan India basis. At present the EXIM trade is paying a deposit of Rs 25,000 on a port to port basis. Insistence of the deposit will ensure that small agents go out of business.

If a dispute not solved with the Customs, the agent loses license for all Indian ports

There is another catch in issuing licenses on a Pan India basis. If there is a dispute between the member of the trade and the customs in one port which could not be resolved, the agent loses the license for all the Indian ports. Such companies lose the license to operate in any Indian port.

Trade does not know the value of the transported cargoes to declare 

Another conditionality imposed on the trade is to make them declare the exact value of the cargo in the bill of lading. The trade is against the measure since in most of the cases they may not be aware of the value of the cargo transported

Declaring all HS numbers cumbersome, hurdle to quick conduct of business

The latest regulations also make it mandatory to declare HS numbers of the cargo placed in the containers. A container may contain fifty different types of cargo and it would be difficult for the trade to mention all the HS numbers. The exercise could become cumbersome and therefore not healthy for the quick conduct of business at ports.


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