Pile-up of Chinese goods at Indian ports: Exporters fear retaliation

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on June 25, 2020

Representational image   -  THE HINDU

Govt discussing if it should clarify that there are no blanket orders for holding up Chinese cargo

Exporters fear that China could retaliate against holding up of their consignments at Indian ports this week by delaying Indian cargo at Hong Kong and Chinese ports. In response to industry apprehensions, the Centre is discussing whether it should issue a formal clarification specifying that no orders have been issued to delay imports from China at Chennai and Mumbai ports through 100 per cent physical checks.

“Some exporters have informed that in response to such action (delay of Chinese goods at Indian ports), Hong Kong and Chinese customs may also hold back export consignments from India....We have not got any information about Indian consignments getting held up but there are apprehensions about it,” said FIEO President SK Saraf at a press meet on Thursday.

The issue is being discussed by the Departments of Revenue and Commerce and a clarification may be issued by the former specifying that the physical checks and holding up of consignments at Chennai and Mumbai ports were one-off cases based on suspicion and no blanket orders were issued by the government against Chinese imports, a government official told BusinessLine.


Exporters had got in touch with the Commerce Ministry after receiving information that China was issuing counter-threats of stopping Indian imports at their ports.

“We were told that the checking of consignments at Chennai port was following information that there were some mis-declarations or some contra-bands were being brought in. There were no written instructions by the government that consignments from China should be stopped. There may be a clarification by the government on the matter," said Saraf.

Several complaints of consignments from China being held up at Chennai and Mumbai ports poured in from importers since Monday night. With rising tension between the two countries over the border dispute in Galwan valley, it is being largely interpreted as a measure to punish the neighbouring country.

The Indian handsets and hardware manufacturers have reportedly reached out to the government stating that the 100 per cent physical examination of Chinese consignments should stop as it was disrupting their supply chain.

Saraf said Fieo did not favour a blanket ban on imports of Chinese goods as it would have implications on domestic industry and consumers in the absence of domestic capacity to produce some of the imported items.

Published on June 25, 2020

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