35,000 Recovered Paper Containers stuck as Customs demand Demurrage

35,000 recovered paper containers stuck

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Due to non-execution of the government’s advisory for waiving off the logistics charges amid lockdown, 35,000 recovered paper containers stuck at ports.

Recently, small paper mills have disclosed the customs officials’ ignorance towards the government’s directive of surrendering logistics charges from March 22 to May 3. As a result of which, over 35,000 recovered paper containers stuck at various Container Freight Stations (CFSs) and Inland Container Depots (ICDs).

Considering shipping hardships during COVID-19 caused lockdown, the Directorate General of Shipping and the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs directed all the major ports, and principal and chief commissioners of customs to let go of the detentions, demurrage, and ground rent for export-import of consignments and goods.

According to Indian Agro and Recycled Paper Mills Association (IARPMA), the apex body for national paper mills, the government’s directions seem to have gone unnoticed by the CFSs and ICDs as they are, nevertheless, asking penalties, amounting to Rs 1,000 crore from shippers.

Reports say that the Materials Recycling Association of India (MRAI), Mumbai-based apex National Association of Indian Recycling Industry, has mentioned to its members about the issuance of a letter by the Container Freight Station Association of India (CFSAI). As per the association, the letter denies any waiver on demurrage charges to shippers.

Stranded Containers multiply troubles for small paper mills

Pramod Aggarwal, the President of IARPMA, has stated that the non-accessibility to recovered paper is nothing but an addition to the miseries of small-scale paper mills. These millers use recovered paper as a raw material to manufacture packaging for crucial goods, including pharmaceuticals, food, and other essential products.

As per him, the unavailability of raw material to these millers is not only affecting their manufacturing process but also hampering them from performing their statutory liabilities. The inevitable expenses, including payment of salary and power bills, costs of plant and workers sanitization, etc. are going beyond their paying capacity.

Emphasizing all these issues and losses that small paper mills are facing due to stranded 35,000 recovered paper containers, IARPMA has appealed actions from the Directorate General of Shipping and the Ministries of Finance and Commerce.

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