Sri Lanka shippers say new global rules will prevent unfair charges

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council has said new guidelines by the International Chamber of Commerce on freight transport rules would help prevent unfair trade practices like charges the trade is not liable to pay.

“Freight forwarders and other service providers including shipping lines are debiting importers and exporters for charges they contractually are not liable to pay,” chairman of the Council Sean Van Dort said.

“One such charge is the container washing charge. Shippers are not responsible to wash containers but they are charged $30-40 which should be embedded in the freight charge,” he told

Van Dort said the Sri Lanka Shippers Council, an affiliated trade body of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce, welcomes the International Chamber of Commerce Global Guide on transport and the Incoterms 2010 Rules.

Van Dort said this latest guide by the ICC will help strengthen the Gazette Extraordinary 1847/53 issued by the government of Sri Lanka in 2014 to protect shippers from unfair trade practices of service providers.

Even now a few of the service providers are lobbying with the government to override the year 2014 gazette notification, Van Dort said adding that the practice is not healthy for the sustainability of exporters and importers.

“Even after this land mark legislation was introduced a few vested interests are still trying to override the gazette by using their political connections to ensure they could return to the old way of making ill-gotten wealth at the expenses of the exporters and importers,” he said in a statement.

However, he says with the latest ICC publication, which clearly specifies international transportation guidelines, service providers will have to abide by those rules in order to ensure ethical behaviour.

“This guide line will provide all  transporters and shippers a clear understanding and clarify multiple issues arising in the interrelation of contracts of carriage and the Incoterms 2010 rules in contracts for the sales of goods, and help shippers address the complex steps of today’s logistics chains,” he said.
(COLOMBO, June 22, 2016)





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