Apparel exporters have demanded waiver of demurrage on import and export shipments for the period starting 1 March 2020 till lockdown continues.
Currently, there is 50 per cent waiving off of demurrage charges on import shipments.
Apparel exporters were receiving their import shipments by air just prior to the lockdown; they were not receiving any documents from their banks or from the shipper, as the concerned institutions and courier services had stopped abruptly.
“Apparel exporters could not clear the shipments on time because of lack of documents; therefore demurrage waiver should be granted starting from 1 March 2020 till the time lockdown continues,” said Dr. A. Sakthivel, Chairman, AEPC.
He further added that the airlines want the agents/shippers to take back their shipments after paying demurrage to the terminal operators. Therefore, demurrage waiver should be allowed to all export shipments as well.
The association has also approached Civil Aviation Minister Shri Hardeep Singh Puri in this regard.
As it is rule that cargo has to be cleared within one day of lockdown closure, exporters believe that the CHA/freight forwarders/consignees will face huge difficulty to clear the goods in one day, adding it is ‘neither practical, nor possible’.
A lot of export shipments are also lying at various Indian airports as all international flights have been stopped and the airlines are not ready to pay the huge demurrage to the terminal operator.
There are many more issues for apparel exporters in this regard as freighters and carriers continue to charge 4-5 times of the existing rates.