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Sri Lanka announces penalty waiver for boxes lying at port yards on forex shortage ground

Amid the severe shortage of foreign exchange in the domestic market, many consignments in Sri Lankan ports remained undelivered for days and months, thus the government of Sri Lanka has decided to provide waivers of the penal charges under special consideration.

Sri Lankan President has directed the ports authority to review the eligibility for waivers of the penal charges, as a special concession to importers, towards cargo landed at Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) and East Container Terminal (ECT) lying pending clearance until January 2022.

Debt strapped Sri Lanka is suffering from a severe crisis of foreign currency thus its export and import trade has been facing serious disruption, especially it is failing to meet the import bills creating a shortage of essential commodities.

A few months back, Sri Lanka took loans of US$200 million from Bangladesh and is also in the process to acquire more from some other countries to replenish its foreign currency reserve.

To proceed with the application to get a waiver of the port charges, importers will have to submit a letter requesting a waiver on penal charges.

They will have to submit a copy of the delivery order /bill of lading, the letter of confirmation issued by the importer’s bank stating that the clearing of cargo/containers have been delayed due to shortage of foreign exchange in the domestic market, mentioning the date when the documents were forwarded to the bank by the importer and when the bank released the documents to the importer to clear the cargo/containers.

Also, the invoices of payments made to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority have to be attached with the application.

The secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping has also forwarded a letter to the South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT) and the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) requesting to extend the waiver for consignments that remained stuck for long.

Sharar Nayel
Asia Correspondent

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