Vehicle clearance at Hambantota International Port at a snail’s pace

Vehicle clearance at Hambantota International Port at a snail’s pace

Vehicle clearance at Hambantota International Port at a snail’s pace

Written by Zulfick Farzan

28 Apr, 2020 | 4:00 pm

Colombo (News 1st); The clearance of cars at the Hambantota Port is slow, and the port is concerned they would not meet the April 30th deadline for clearing imported vehicles.

In a statement, the Chief Operating Officer of the Hambantota International Port Group Tissa Wickremesinghe said no vehicles were cleared over the weekend, and the number cleared on Monday was 203 while port dues have been paid for 425 chassis.

He said it is impossible to understand why the vehicles are not cleared on time, as the demurrage waiver period is ending soon.

Port officials say clearance applications received today are for only 220 chassis, and 5,755 vehicles are still lying in their yard awaiting clearance.

The port had previously informed vehicle importers the demurrage costs incurred from the 16 March 2020 to the 30 April 2020 will be waived off.

They also communicated instructions by the Sri Lanka Police and HIP on cargo clearance procedures to wharf clerks and vehicle importers associations to ensure their health and safety, as well as the health and safety of the people who live near the port.

HIP officials reiterate all facilities are working round the clock to speed up clearance, including Sri Lanka Customs who are open for business even on weekends.

HIP’s document center is also operational and HIP has enabled shipping lines to carry out online payments and transfers for stevedoring and navigational bills and also plans to implement online payment for customers who clear the vehicles at HIPG.

e-DO facility for customers will commence on the 1st of May to quicken the clearance process, making it more convenient and minimize human interactions.

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