‘No operator has refused to handle cargo from any Nation’

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Dec 07, 2021
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Shipping Minister clarifies in RS, such restrictions can only be imposed by competent authorities

The Ministry for Ports, Shipping and Waterways has clarified that no operator at any major port has denied handling of EXIM (export-import) cargo from any nation.

“Port operators are supposed to provide their services on non-discriminatory basis. However, port restrictions provision can be exercised by the competent authorities of Government of India, Ministry of Commerce, Directorate General of Foreign Trade,” said the Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal in a written reply in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

Adani Ports’ notification

At the same time, the Minister also acknowledged that Adani Port and SEZ (APSEZ) has issued advisory through circular dated October 11, according to which from November 15, APSEZ is not handling EXIM containerised cargo originating from Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The trade advisory is applicable to all the terminals, including third party terminals at any APSEZ port, he added.

Following a large drug haul at the Mundra port in Gujarat in October, APSEZ had issued the trade advisory. Iran had objected to the “unprofessional” move and complained to the Centre about it.

The Customs Department had then written to APSEZ questioning its ban and pointing out that such restrictions can only be authorised by the DGFT.

Provisions for examination of the goods are already there in the Customs Act, 1962, the Minister said.

Published on December 07, 2021

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