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Customs permits en-bloc movement of boxes from Chennai port terminals to CFS/ICD during lockdown

Chennai Customs has allowed container terminals operating at Chennai Port Trust to shift direct port delivery, direct port delivery/container freight station (CFS) and public notice register (PNR) containers under en-bloc movement to CFS/ICDs (inland container depots) located nearby, in a bid to decongest the port in the wake of the lockdown.

The Customs has also set the transport and handling charges to be levied by CFS/ICD for DPD and PNR containers under en-bloc movement. The CFS/ICD have been directed not to charge more than ₹6,000 for 20-foot containers and ₹8,000 for 40-foot containers.

However, CFS/ICD may charge lower rates based on a contractual agreement with the importers or any other criteria, the Customs said.

“No additional charges shall be levied for handling the containers,” V. Pazhaniyandi, Joint Commissioner of Customs, wrote in a March 30 trade facility circular.

Such containers can be stored at the CFS/ICD free of charge during the lockdown period plus five working days, the Customs said.

Containers under the same import general manifest (IGM) of the same importer shall not be moved to different CFS/ICD.

“Due to the lockdown imposed by the government, it is noticed that many import containers could not be cleared from port terminals which led to congestion of the ports,” Pazhaniyandi wrote.

Chennai International Terminals Pvt Ltd, the facility run by Singapore’s PSA International Pte Ltd at Chennai Port Trust has moved more than 1,000 containers (14 full rakes) under en-bloc movement to Concor’s Tondiarpet ICD located about 7 km away since March 28 as stakeholders in the trade come together to find solutions to keep things moving.

“Moving boxes out en-bloc by rail like this is a very efficient way to ensure there is sufficient space within the terminal, particularly given the shortage of truckers to take boxes out,” a trade source said.

This was made possible due to the close coordination between Indian Railways, Concor, Chennai Port Trust, Customs and the terminals.

“The Tondiarpet location is more convenient for truckers to collect their containers while it frees up space at the terminal,” the source said.
Source: The Hindu Business Line

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