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35000 Containers of Imported Waste Paper Stuck at Ports; Customs Demands Demurrage Despite Waiver

According to the association, the raw material is urgently required by paper mills for manufacture of packaging to be used by food, pharmaceuticals and other essential products.

April 27, 2020

Waste paper
Imported waste paper

Small paper mills have claimed that over 35,000 containers with imported waste paper are held up at various inland container depots and container freight stations despite the government’s directive to waive port logistics charges.

According to the Indian Agro and Recycled Paper Mills Association (IARPMA), customs officials are not implementing the government directive on waiver of logistics charges during the lockdown period and asking for penalties cumulating around Rs 1,000 crore.

The charges were waived for a period from March 22 to May 3.

Contending that small paper mills are incurring heavy losses as their raw material is stuck at ports and are unable to commence operations, the association has requested commerce and finance ministries as well as the Directorate General of Shipping, under the shipping ministry, to look into the issue.

“The ICDs and CFSs are not honouring the directives of the government and are demanding unwarranted penalties which amount to nearly Rs 1,000 crore and are beyond the paying capacity of small paper mills,” said IARPMA in a statement.

According to IARPMA, the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs and the Directorate General of Shipping directed ports and all principal commissioners and chief commissioners of customs for waiver of demurrage, detentions and ground rent for export or imports of goods and consignments.

“The non-availability of raw material i.e. waste paper is adding to the miseries of small-scale paper manufacturers who are required to comply with all the statutory liabilities, payment of salaries besides bearing other heavy expenses like power bills, sanitisation of plant and workers and putting up facilities for workers’ stay in the mill premises,” said IARPMA President Pramod Aggarwal adding that “mills should not be unnecessarily hassled”.

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