Material Recycling Association of India (MRAI) has urged the Shipping Ministry to intervene after some shipping companies and Container Freight Stations (CFS) continued charging detention and demurrage charges despite a waiver notification issued on April 21.
Waiver on penal charges such detention, demurrage and dwell time were extended recently with the extension of the lockdown. MRAI President Sanjay Mehta on Thursday tweeted urging the authorities such as the shipping ministry and Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs to take requisite action since many shipping lines were reluctant to adhere to the notification.
Jayant Jain, All India Nonferrous Metal Exim Association (ANMA) Secretary told Davis Index that shipping companies and CFS have continued charging detention and demurrage charges, citing that Shipping Ministry’s letter issued on April 21 is directed to all ports and not to them.
Jain also pointed discrepancies in letters issued by different authorities. The notification on April 21 grants waiver for the period of lockdown till May 3, plus an additional 30 days. A day after this notification, the Director-General (DG) of Shipping issued another letter stating that the waiver will remain effective till May 3, with no mention of waiver of an additional 30 days. Furthermore, even the letters issued to Port Commissioner, Nava Sheva, and Chennai Port on April 23 mention the same dates as mentioned in the DG shipping’s letter. He added that with logistic affected and shortage of funds, importers are not in a position to evacuate cargos immediately.
Jain said that despite the Central Government allowing transport of non-essential material, importers are unable to obtain passes from the local government for the transport of imported scrap material from ports. As a result, over 150,000 containers carrying material, including metal scrap are stuck at the ports in India.