The civil aviation ministry has ordered a 50 per cent waiver in demurrage charges in order to unclog import warehouses and facilitate smooth transport of essential items during lockdown period.
However, the customs department feels that this will only discourage more importers and brokers from lifting their consignments and cause further congestion of ports.
Demurrage refers to the penalty levied on importers by air cargo terminal operators for delays in clearing shipments and is collected on per-kilogram basis.
The reduced charges will apply to goods which are cleared by midnight of April 16 and subsequently normal rates will apply.
“With anyway no demand of imported items amid lockdown of manufacturing facilities, the waiver will basically incentivise importers to continue keeping the shipment at the airports itself,” said a senior customs officer.
In it’s April 1 order the civil aviation ministry said the imported cargo could not be cleared creating a congestion