Sunday, February 3, 2019

Nepal-bound cargo stranded at Kolkata Port

More than 600 Nepal-bound cargo are stuck at Kolkata Port due to protesting customs clearing agents compelling the traders to bear excess financial burden from the huge demurrage charges.
The agents are protesting as the government is implementing the electronic cargo tracking system as it gained transshipment privilege at the Indian port.
They have been disrupting the movement of Nepal-bound cargo since last Tuesday, from the day Nepal enforced the electronic cargo tracking system at Kolkata port.
The agents have handed over only four to five containers – since Tuesday – to the Container Corporation of India (CCI) – the shipping company offering its service at the sea port – confirmed the freight forwarders, though the tracking system is going to smoothen the Nepal's third country trade.
The authority is negotiating with customs agents to ensure hassle free movement, according to Commerce Ministry. "The Consulate General office at Kolkata is holding talks with the protesting group," the ministry said, adding that Nepal receives 200-300 containers per week via the Indian sea port. "Cargo movement is likely to be resumed from tomorrow, though the agents have yet not consented to call off their protest."
Electronic tracking – the Global Positioning System – is a satellite-based radio navigation system that allows the shipper to keep track of their consignments. After the transshipment privilege, the containers are directly sent to the Birgunj dry port where they can receive customs clearance.
Earlier, the cargo was required to undergo clearance at the entry port followed by inspections at around seven Indian check posts, which now is not necessary. Around 400 customs agents – who were engaged in the manual syatem – claiming that they are jobless, due to electricnic tracking system stopped the movements of the goods.
Nepal has started transshipment privileges and using electronic cargo tracking at Vishakhapatnam port since August, and it has been implemented at the Haldiya and Kolkata ports with the consent of Indian authorities.
"The shipping company could not transport the cargo after the customs clearing agents denied handing over the consignment to them," according to the Nepal Freight Forwarders’ Association (NFFA). 

No comments: