Import Clearance Delays at Top Indian Port

Customs authorites and shipping lines are trying to understand the cause of delays in a program which was meant to speed imports at Jawaharlal Nehru Port , as the Journal of Commerce reports.

Customs authorities at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust worry that a lack of cooperation from shipping lines and their agents is hurting the direct port delivery services meant to lower cargo dwell times and congestion at India’s busiest port.

“Many importers have complained that e-delivery orders and e-invoices are not being issued in advance despite their request for the same, and due to this reason, importers are facing undue hardship in taking the facility of direct port delivery,” said Customs  in a public notice.

The agency issued strict instructions to all stakeholders to speed up the documentation process to ensure timely clearance of DPD shipments. “Noncompliance of the directions will be viewed seriously and action will be initiated.”

DPD essentially means import containers are delivered directly to pre-approved clients instead of waiting in a container freight station for customs clearance. Such containers must be removed within 48 hours of landing at the port, and if a shipper fails to meet that time frame, their cargo is shifted to a nearby off-site yard, and stored there, at a cost, for clearance under the normal customs procedure.

The Container Shipping Lines’ Association of India, or CSLA, refuted the charge of the customs authorities, and blamed importers and customs house agents for the delays.

The strong emphasis on DPD services at major, or public, ports is part of a larger government scheme to reduce logistics costs.

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