India Waives Port Fees for Ships Carrying Emergency Oxygen Supplies
With India facing an acute shortage of medical-grade oxygen amidst the second wave of the pandemic, the government has directed most major ports to waive off all charges for ships carrying oxygen.
The charges that will be waived include vessel-related charges, storage charges and other related taxes, according to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways.
Additionally, these ships have been allocated the highest level of priority in berthing operations. This extends to ships carrying medical-grade oxygen, oxygen tanks, oxygen bottles, portable oxygen generators and oxygen concentrators. Even ships carrying steel pipes that will be used in manufacturing oxygen cylinders and associated medical equipment will get a tax exemption at Indian ports.
The order is set for three months or until Indian authorities extend it, keeping in mind the situation on the ground.
India’s shipping ministry has asked port chairpersons to personally supervise these operations and to ensure that the oxygen cargo gets priority while working with the customs authorities fit ensuring speedy clearance.
For cases where the vessels contain partly oxygen, along with other cargo onboard, a waiver of charges would be considered on a pro-rata basis, applying it to the oxygen-related cargo onboard the vessel.
The Ministry will be supervising and monitoring all the details of vessels carrying these critical supplies, including the time taken in the port starting when the vessel arrived to the exit of cargo from the port gate.