Considering all the economic losses, business damages, and trade delays that COVID -19 has been causing for the past few months, various leading organisations have revised their import detention and demurrage tariffs in India.
As a precaution and prevention of rapidly outbreaking pandemic in India, a lockdown of the entire country for 21 days, effective from March 24, was ordered by Home Affairs Ministry. While the order barred almost all the businesses from their usual operations, a few essential sectors, including ports and shipments, were exempted from the lockdown for ensuring a regular supply of necessary products.
Despite exemptions and governmental efforts towards smoothening the working of these sectors, constant tribulations have been arising in the transportation of their goods. The downstream services’ disruptions are delaying the evacuation of products from ports, which, in return, is increasing the troubles of cargo owners. They are finding it challenging to complete the paperwork and transport goods/cargo, as of result of which, they are either suspending their operations or facing detention of containers.
Addressing the same problems, Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) has issued an advisory on March 28 as a onetime measure for dealing with these disturbances caused by COVID – 19. This advisory is for non-charging of container detentions on import shipments for the duration of March 25, 2020, to April 7, 2020 (both inclusive). It also advises the shipping lines for not imposing any new or additional charges during this period. Some shipping lines have even voluntarily suspended the imposition of container detention charges for a specific period of time.
Offering its support to the cargo owners in this challenging time, Hamburg Sud has announced not to charge the container detention on all their import shipments into India for a duration of March 25 to April 7 (both days inclusive). This allowance will be over and above all free time arrangements, which are currently existing and agreed in terms of any negotiable contact.
Pristine Mega Logistics Park Pvt. Ltd.
The company acknowledges the difficulties that importers and exporters are facing due to the limited movement of human and other resources. To support them in tackling these problems, Inland Container Depot, Chawapail, Ludhiana, has decided to waive off the Ground Rent on Laden containers (Export/Import) from March 22 to April 14 (both dates inclusive).
MSC Agency (India) Pvt. Ltd.
With the claims of understanding the effects that the lockdown is having on Import Cargo Clearance, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has announced the extension of free time on detention charges. The extension will be applicable from March 25 to April 7 (both dates inclusive) on all MSC Import Boxes, which are lying uncleared.
With a commitment of supporting cargo owners in this challenging time, Maersk has announced to waive off the container detention charges on all its Import shipments into India for a duration of March 25 to April 7 (both days inclusive).
Ministry of Railways
Considering the spread of coronavirus as a case of natural calamity, the ministry of railways has decided to treat the period of March 22 to April 14 under the Force Majeure clause. This clause removes liability for natural and unavoidable disasters. It has announced the waiver of below-mentioned charges for this duration:
- Wharfage Stacking
- Demurrage in case of privately/jointly owned stock
- Demurrage on parcel traffic
- Wharfage on parcel traffic
- Detention charge in case of container traffic, and
- Ground usage charge in case of container traffic