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Home News Trident Shipping Line fined US$5,000 in Bangladesh for breaking rules

Trident Shipping Line fined US$5,000 in Bangladesh for breaking rules

Bangladesh’s Mercantile Marine Department (MMD) has fined Trident Shipping Line Ltd US$5,000 as its container ship Kanway Fortune carried cargo towards Chittagong port violating the law relating to the interest of national flag carriers.

The ship loaded cargo in a Malaysian port earlier month without taking a waiver certificate from the MMD.

Under the Bangladesh Flag Vessels Protection Act 2019 and the subsequent rules, having a waiver certificate is mandatory for foreign vessels to carry cargo to and from any Bangladeshi ports.

According to officials, a Bangladesh flag carrier ship namely HR HERA was present at the port during Kanway Fortune's cargo loading operations. Under the rules, HR HERA was supposed to ill get priority in loading cargo towards Bangladesh.

Kanway Fortune sought a waiver certificate from the MMD on 1 March by submitting an application online. After that, the MMD forwarded the application to the Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) and the Bangladesh Ocean Going Shipowners Association (BOGSOA) seeking their no objection.

However, as HR HERA was also at the port, the MMD, after getting opinions from the BSC and BOGSOA, declined to furnish a waiver certificate for Kanway Fortune and informed Trident Shipping Line about the decision.

The authority of Kanway Fortune, a 2022-built container ship sailing under the flag of Hong Kong with a carrying capacity of 1,930 TEUs, did not care about the rules and sailed with the loaded cargo toward Chittagong.

Therefore, on 15 March, the MMD imposed a US$5,000 fine against Trident Shipping Line under section 7 of the Bangladesh Flag Vessels Protection Act 2019 and asked the operator to deposit the money.

Kazi Shahidullah, general manager of Trident Shipping Line, confirmed receiving a letter from the MMD fining the company. However, he said, the act has favoured the local ships but has gone beyond the interest of foreign ships which is hampering their business seriously.

He noted failing to get cargo, due to charging high freight rates, the local ship company is trying to snatch away the cargo of foreign operators by misusing the flag protection act.

Syed Mohammad Arif, chairman of the Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association, pointed out that foreign ships calling Bangladeshi ports have been facing serious problems since the rules of the act came into force last month.

He said many ships experience delays in getting waiver certificates while some were given clearance for one-way traffic which hindered their operations.

Arif highlighted that as the ships continue facing waiver certificate-related problems, one vessel was withdrawn from the Chittagong route while many operators may rethink their operations towards the Bangladeshi port.

Nearly 90 foreign ships ply to and from Bangladesh of which only eight are flag vessels, according to officials.

Sharar Nayel
Asia Correspondent

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