Logistics

Adani Ports reverses decision to stop handling cargo from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan

P. Manoj | | | Updated on: Dec 09, 2021
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Adani Ports' decision followes representations from terminal operators, customs broker associations, vessel operators and importers

Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd (APSEZ) has withdrawn its decision to stop handling export-import (EXIM) containerised cargo originating from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan at its ports that took effect from November 15.

The move followed representations from terminal operators, customs broker associations, vessel operators and importers to review the advisory issued on October 11, APSEZ said.

“Upon careful scrutiny, the discussions and the assurances from the concerned stakeholders regarding adherence to due compliances and with a view to ensure seamless trade, the advisory is hereby withdrawn with immediate effect,” APSEZ said in a trade advisory issued on December 8.

India’s biggest private port operator has come under pressure from government authorities to scrap the advisory that was issued in the wake of a huge heroin haul at Mundra port in Gujarat in September.

Also read: Adani Ports’ self-imposed cargo decision will impact trade: Govt

On November 10, the Customs Department asked APSEZ to “re-examine” its decision to stop handling export-import (EXIM) containerised cargo originating from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan at its ports.

“The advisory (issued by APSEZ) bears adverse impact on EXIM trade of the country and (is) contrary to the policy of the government of India,” the Customs Department wrote in a 10 November communication to APSEZ following representations from trade that the decision was taken “unilaterally”.

“Such restrictions of port specific import can be imposed only by the competent authority like Directorate General of Foreign Trade,” it said while asking APSEZ to “re-examine” the issue to make policy for facilitating EXIM trade and be in consonance with the policies of the government.

“Port operators are supposed to provide their services on non-discriminatory basis. However, port restrictions provision can be exercised (only) by the competent authorities of the government of India, Ministry of Commerce, Directorate General of Foreign Trade,” Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways wrote in a reply to a Parliament question in the Rajya Sabha on December 7.

Also read: Adani Ports move to refuse cargo containers from Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan unlikely to hurt trade

On September 16, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence seized 2,988.21 kg of heroin at Mundra Port. The heroin was found in two containers declared as stuffed with ‘semi processed talc stones’ that originated from Afghanistan and were shipped to Mundra via the Bandar Abbas port in Iran. The case is being pursued by the National Investigation Agency.

Published on December 09, 2021

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