Customs has yet to give its approval to start shipping from the old port of Vizhinjam

The Maritime Board (KMB) is unable to start shipping service from the old Vizhinjam port, although it has received the ISPS code from the Merchant Shipping Ministry, as the customs office has not yet given permission to do so.

The Board had taken all necessary measures to launch the “depot ship” service from the port and also arranged a private ship. However, customs had refused approval on the grounds that the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS) was missing.

Although customs have now received the code, they have not yet given their approval. It was determined that the board would need to build a weighbridge and install a generator at the port to meet the requirements
Customs criteria when obtaining consent.

“In addition, a 20-kilowatt generator and a weighbridge for weighing large containers are required at the port to begin shipping,” said a Maritime Authority official.

The official went on to say there were no objections to the resumption of crew rotation at the port. The crew change is a good source of income, the official said. “By changing the crew, the state received revenue of 10 crore rupees in two years. Finally, the crew change will also help boost domestic businesses such as hotels, taxis and other related sectors,” the official said.

From 2007 to 2017, there was a cargo ship service from Vizhinjam to Mali from the port, which was smoothly operated by the board. The company was profitable for 10 years but later became a private company
withdrew citing internal problems.

Later the board managed to get a ship from Anand Freight Overseas Service Limited and made a pact with them too. However, due to resistance from customs, the board was unable to record the service. The project is very significant as it is expected to generate over a million dollars in business each month and in turn will be a good source of revenue for the federal and state governments.

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