Sri Lanka ship agents demand time bound Customs inquiries

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Customs should have time limits for completing inquiries into detained cargo in order to reduce costs and speed up shipments, an official representing ship agents said.

Iqram Cuttilan, the Treasurer of the Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) said their members faced difficulties pertaining to detention of uncleared cargo.

“Some of our members had containers kept for as long as seven years for Customs inquiries,” he told a forum on the proposed new Customs law.

“Shouldn’t there be a process where the inquiry should be completed within a certain period?”

Cuttilan said that lengthy detention of containerised cargo meant higher costs for everybody.

“The shipping lines are losing money, the ports are losing revenue and the consignee is also losing out on their cargo,” he said.

“There should be a process where the inquiry can be timebound and the inquiry should be completed within these timelines.”
(COLOMBO, Sept 28, 2016)

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