- 5,755 vehicles still lying in port yard awaiting clearance
- Demurrage waiver period set to expire on April 30
The clearance of cars at the Hambantota Port is slow, and the port is concerned that they would not meet the April 30th deadline for clearing imported vehicles.
“No vehicles were cleared over the weekend, and the number cleared on Monday was 203 while port dues have been paid for 425 chassis, which we hope would leave the port soon. “We cannot understand why they are not clearing the vehicles on time, as the demurrage waiver period is to end soon,” said Tissa Wickremasinghe, COO, HIPG.
Port officials said that clearance applications received yesterday were only for 220 chassis, and 5,755 vehicles are still lying in their yard awaiting clearance.
The port had previously informed vehicle importers that demurrage costs incurred from March 16, 2020 to the April 30 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 both their health and safety, as well as the health and safety of the people who live near the port.
The Hambantota Wharf Clerks Association has acknowledged by letter the measures taken by HIP, placing on record their appreciation of the entire staff of the port, for the safety measures taken in the midst of the pandemic, and for the understanding and support extended by the port, especially where operational matters were concerned.
HIP officials reiterate that 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 May 1 to quicken the clearance process, making it more convenient and to minimize human interactions.