Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industries has expressed concern over imposing container detention charges on shipment amid coronavirus pandemic.
In the wake of this challenging business situation created by the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Shipping has already issued circular directing shipping lines not to realise container detention charges during the general holidays.Despite the directives, operators are imposing container detention chargers, the trade body mentioned, putting a huge burden on importers in this critical time.
Mentioning that Chittagong Port Authority(CPA) has ‘own authority’ as per port ordinance to look into the matter, DCCI said that it may take necessary measures against shipping lines if they breach any directives of Chittagong Port Authority in order to reduce port congestion.
Moreover, there should be a uniform policy governing rational and logical detention charges on import and export shipment by foreign shipping lines, it added.
“This unregulated container detention charges levied by the shipping lines increase the price of imported raw materials used for manufacturing export items resulting in downgrading cost competitiveness of our export-oriented sectors. It also inflates the price of imported products for local consumers,” read the statement.
Giving the examples like India and New Zealand, DCCI said that they have already asked their shipping lines not to collect any detention charge from import and export shipments. Accordingly, the shipping lines operated in India and New Zealand have been complying with the directives of their respective authorities.
This business body also requested private ICDs and off-dock operators to waive the empty container handling charges and export goods stuffing package charges during this lock-down period.“As businesses are suffering an unprecedented crisis, Chittagong Port needs to reduce the different port user charges including all types of crane charges, loading and discharging containers, stuffing and un-stuffing charges,” it added.
Amid this unprecedented situation, despite government working towards smooth functioning of the seaports and to keep operational activities of the ports normal, delays in the evacuation of goods from the ports have become inevitable due to the disturbance of the downstream services, it said.
The unregulated container detention charges levied by the shipping lines increase the price of imported raw materials used for manufacturing export items resulting in the downgraded cost competitiveness of the country’s export-oriented sectors. It also inflates the price of imported products for local consumers, said the trade body.