The Bangladesh Container Shipping Association has sought cooperation of its stakeholder Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) to address unusual delays which foreign-flag vessels have been facing in obtaining waiver certificates – the documents containing shipment details – for the last couple of weeks.
The Mercantile Marine Office is supposed to issue the certificates within three working days after receiving applications, but it has been failing to do that even in ten days in recent time, the association said, which causes a financial loss for foreign ships.
“Such a practice, which is unfavourable for the country’s image, could harm overall foreign trade if the disruption in feeder services continues at Chattogram port,” Bangladesh Container Shipping Association Executive Secretary Sheikh Habibur Rahman said in a letter to the BGMEA Port and Standing Committee Chairman Hasan Abdullah on Monday.
“We would request your membership to influence to protect the interest of foreign flag vessels for the greater benefits of foreign trade. Also, place the matter before the authorities concerned to find a viable solution,” reads the letter.
According to the Bangladesh Container Shipping Association, at least 12 ships on the Chattogram-Colombo route have failed to depart the Chattogram Port on time, resulting in a fine of $10,000-12,000 per day for each ship.
Even the vessel MV Hansa Homburg halted operations on the route. The government can lose some $60,000 in revenue per month for the withdrawal of the vessel from the route, the association said.