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Centre issues guidance to improve containers available for export of cargo

·2 min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

New Delhi [India], September 25 (ANI): Working on one of the action tracks identified by the government to ease the problem, as a temporary measure to improve containers available presently for export of containerised cargo and with aim of promoting export of laden marine containers, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) on Friday issued guidance to field offices.

This step is expected to reduce the export of empty containers from the country on grounds of imposition of import duty, thus increasing the availability of containers for trade.

As a relief to exporters facing global container shortage, the CBIC also issued a circular saying that Assistant Commissioner may grant an extension beyond six months on sufficient cause being shown, which can further be extended up to three more months.

The notification has been issued in view of improving the efficiency in the movement; once stuffed, these containers would be moved on priority to the port to find a vessel at the earliest for a better turnaround time.

"Circular issued in connection with exemption to containers of durable nature. This notification inter-alia specifies that in any particular case, the initial period of re-exporting said type of containers imported within 6 months can be extended by the Assistant Commissioner on sufficient cause being shown," CBIC circular read.

"The Assistant Commissioner may grant an extension beyond 6 months up to further 3 months for the reasons to be recorded in writing," it added.

Further, it was informed that the provision of the circular may also be applied on receiving intimation before the expiry of the initial period of six months from the importer concerned that the container shall be re-exported in laden condition within the next three months.

Commerce Ministry officials said that disruptions due to the COVID Pandemic resulted in high shipping freight rates and container shortage globally, a problem which has been raised repeatedly by exporters in India too.

It has been brought out in stakeholder consultations by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry that the problem could be eased by creating policy incentives discouraging the export of empty containers. As per the present structure, keeping containers beyond a period of six months attracts an import duty as a deemed import. (ANI)

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