Garment exporters flag delay at ports in clearing import consignments from China

?OUR BUREAU New Delhi | Updated on June 26, 2020

Exporters of readymade garments and apparels have sought the government’s support in speeding up the clearance of import consignments from China, including inputs for the sector.

The “undue delay” is impacting their operations and might result in further financial losses for manufacturers already grappling with the Covid-19 crisis, they said.

The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) Chairman A Sakthivel, in a letter to the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), said, the Customs authorities at several ports are undertaking 100 per cent examination of goods originating from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. This has created undue delay in clearance of imported shipments of inputs which are meant for manufacturing garments for exports.

The delay is affecting factory operations as inputs are being held up at various ports and exporters fear that they might fail to meet the delivery schedule, the letter addressed to CBIC Chairman Ajit Kumar pointed out.

Earlier, exporters’ body FIEO had expressed apprehensions that China may take retaliatory action and hold up Indian goods at Chinese and Hong Kong ports. There has been no formal communication from the government clarifying the situation.

“When business was gearing up to get back to normal after the relaxation of lockdown in India and other foreign countries, the recent delay in clearing the import consignments from China was adding to the crisis,” AEPC said.

Exports of apparels from India declined 91 per cent and 66 per cent in April and May respectively.

“Special priority should be given to manufacturer exporters who are dependent on these imports to service their export orders,” Sakthivel added.

Published on June 26, 2020

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