Certain importers can now pay the terminal handling charge (THC) directly to the terminals at JNPT, informs CBIC Chairman, Dr John Joseph. He has directed Custom Houses to allow a section of importers to pay terminal handling charge directly to terminals bypassing shipping lines.
However, currently, the facility can only be availed by the DPD and AEO clients. And, it is also not available for less than container load (LCL) imports.
Dr Joseph, in an interview to a media house, said, “Any new initiative to succeed should have a calibrated approach and both the importers as well as the terminals will be able to manage this in a better way before the facility is extended to all importers at JNPT.”
The direct payment of THC to the terminal will work in the favor of the importers and save them from the manifold costs they pay to the shipping lines.
“The shipping lines are charging the importers two to three times more as handling charges compared to what the terminals actually charge. So, the impact of this decision will be very major as it will save a minimum of ₹5,000 per container,” Dr Joseph said.
The idea behind the move is to raise the DPD and AEO programs to 70-80% so that the time and cost for importers could be reduced by more than 70%. Further, the facility will also improve the “Ease of Doing Business” ranking and make the country more competitive as well as attract more foreign investments.
According to Dr Joseph, the direct THC payment facility is also likely to be extended to the exporters and will be taking place in a week’s time. The facility will reduce the cost for exporters and give them a competitive edge in the international market.