Container handling charges at Kochi Vallarpadam terminal are likely to go down with stakeholders deciding that all terminal related charges will be billed directly to the exporter or importer by the DP World from January 1 next year.
A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of various stakeholders, convened by the Cochin Port Trust yesterday, according to a port release. At present, shipping companies make the payment of Terminal Handling Charges (THC) to the Dubai Port World, which has set up the state-of-the-art terminal and thereafter billing the Importer or Exporter together with add-on charges relating to their own services.
This had resulted in incidence of service tax being incurred twice. There were disputes related to charges billed by some Steamer Agents under various Heads. The present attempt with the active co-operation of Steamer Agents Association is expected to substantially reduce the total transaction cost at the Vallarpadam ICTT.
Consequently, all shipping line related service charges shall be billed directly to the Exporter or Importer by the shipping lines. It was decided that IGTPL and Shipping Lines would jointly discuss the modalities to be adopted for the implementation of this system of billing and it will be introduced in full scale from January 1, 2015.
The meeting also decided to immediately discontinue the container service pool under Customs House Agents Association which will further bring down the container transaction cost.
The Trustees representing labour in the Port Trust Board, who had been part of the Sub-Committee created to address the issue of high cost, assured the EXIM Trade of unstilted co-operation from the labour side. Representatives of Shipping Lines, DP World, Kerala Chamber of Commerce, Indian Chamber of Commerce, Cochin Chamber of Commerce, Sea Food Exporters Association, Spices Board, Cashew Export Promotion Council , Coir Shippers Council, Federation of Indian Export Organisation, CHA Association and the Labour Trustees of Cochin Port Trust Board participated in the meeting.
The Port Trust had convened a meeting earlier in September at Coimbatore to better facilitate export of containers originating from Coimbatore through the Vallarpadam Terminal. The Deputy Commissioner of Sales Tax, Palakkad, who spoke to the participants highlighted the introduction of Green Channel Facility at Walayar which will give quicker and easier access for EXIM containers from Coimbatore to Cochin Port.
The Chief General Manager of CONCOR also had participated in the meeting and assured more services, including longer free storage period and better facility to move EXIM containers from Coimbatore to Vallarpadam through their Irugur ICD.
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