Delhi waives interest charges after tech glitch but lines slow at D&D

After agreeing to an ad hoc relief for importers of interest due on tariffs delayed by a system failure, the Indian authorities have extended the scheme.

Interest payments have been suspended to date following the failure of a new system, but it is widely expected that they will be renewed until the system failure is resolved.

A data exchange failure at Icegate, the central customs network, on a new payment module that went live April 1 resulted in import cargo congestion at major ports, interest on unpaid duties, and detention and demurrage fees from carriers.

However, Mohan Limaye, head of air freight practice at Kale Logistics Solutions, said: “All managers have been asked by Customs to waive demurrage and detention fees by April 15.”

And the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) said late fees incurred by freight companies’ failure to comply with customs regulations would be eliminated.

As the technical disruptions persist, CBIC has temporarily reintroduced manual “free” customs clearance options for some goods, particularly perishables, pharmaceuticals and shipments booked in Fast Direct Port Delivery (DPD) mode.

Local airline leaders sounded receptive to concerns about D&D fees. said Sunil Vaswani, executive director of the Container Shipping Lines Association: “The shipping companies are actually making every effort to help the recipients and are coordinating with their customers in this regard.”

But sources at the Brihanmumbai Customs Brokers Association (BCBA), which represents cargo clearing agents in Mumbai, said the response from container lines has generally been apathetic, with the exception of one or two who were considering D&D waiver requests on a case-by-case basis. case base.

A BCBA official said: “In the absence of any advisory support, there is currently no clarity or certainty about waiver considerations.”

For cargo owners struggling to be profitable in a climate of slowing demand, delays in customs clearance can create additional pressure.

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