Foreign flag vessels will no longer require to obtain
a license from the Mumbai based Director General of Shipping for carriage of
fertilisers by sea from one Indian port to another in a move by the shipping
ministry to ensure their swift transport to help agricultural operations in the
country, Minister of state for Shipping Mr Mansukh L Mandaviya told the Rajya
Sabha last week.
In a written answer he said the foreign flag vessels
have been given exemption under section 407 of the Merchant Shipping Act 1958.
The Minister informed
that the relaxation is subject to the condition that the information as per the
format prescribed in the relaxation order is submitted to the Director General
of Shipping by email at least 24 hours prior to sail of ship from a port in
The relaxation shall also
be subject to the condition that Indian law enforcement agencies, including
India Navy, Coast Guard, State Maritime Police and Customs, shall be allowed to
board such ships any time in the sea for ascertaining the bona-fide credentials
of the ships/crew.