Tag Archives: shipping

draft Indian ports bill

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1679974

Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has circulated draft of Indian Ports Bill 2020 for public consultation which will repeal and replace the Indian Ports Act, 1908 (Act No. 15 of 1908)

The draft Indian Ports Bill, 2020, seeksto,inter alia, enable the structured growth and sustainable development of ports to attract investments in the Port sector for optimum utilisation of the Indian Coastline byeffective administration and management of ports. The proposed Bill will provide measures to facilitate conservation of ports, taking into account the prevalent situation with respect to the high number of non-operational ports. It shall further ensure greater investment in the Indian maritime and ports sector through the creation of improved, comprehensive regulatory frameworks for the creation of new ports and management of existing ports.

The Bill also seeks to, inter alia, create an enabling environment for the growth and sustained development of the ports sector in India through the following broad methods:

  1. Constitution of Maritime Port Regulatory Authority
  2. Formulation of the National Port policy and National Port plan in consultation with Coastal State Governments, State Maritime Boards and other stakeholders.
  3. Formulation of specialised Adjudicatory Tribunals namely Maritime Ports Tribunal and Maritime Ports Appellate Tribunal to curb any anti-competitive practises in the port sector and act as a speedy and affordable grievance redressal mechanism.

The up-to-date provisions of the proposed Bill would ensure safety, security, pollution control, performance standards and sustainability of Ports. The Bill ensures that all up-to-date conventions /protocols to which India is a party, are also suitably incorporated. This will promote marine safety and security in the true sense. The Bill will fill up the gapsfor achieving scientific development of Ports and Port Network.

The Bill seeks to provide increased opportunities for public and private investments in the Indian maritime and ports sector by way of removing barriers to entry, simplifying processes and establishment of agencies and bodies to plan and enable growth of the ports sector. Enhancing “Ease of Doing Business’,it will provide greater impetus to a self-reliant domestic investment climate in the maritime sector, towards Atamanirbhar Bharat initiatives of the Government.

Minister of State (I/C)Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shri Mansukh Mandaviya,said,“We are working on creation of a National Port Grid.This Bill will be a game changer in the Indian maritime sector specially for bringing more investments. TheBill will bolster structured growth and sustained development of Ports and ensure achieving this objective on fast track basis. Consequently, it will result into revolutionary maritime reforms transmuting the Indian maritime set-up entirely in the times to come.”

The draft of Indian Ports Bill 2020 is issued for public consultation for seeking the feedback and suggestions. This can be accessed on the link http://shipmin.gov.in/sites/default/files/IPAbill.pdf and suggestions can be sent to sagar.mala@nic.in by 24 December, 2020.

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right of first refusal

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1666728

In pursuance of ‘Make in India’ policy of the Government of India, Ministry of Shipping has reviewed the ROFR (Right of First Refusal) licensing conditions for chartering of vessels/Ships through tender process for all types of requirements.

To promote the demand of the ships built in India, priority in chartering of vessels is given to vessels built in India, flagged in India and owned by Indians under the amendments in the guidelines of ROFR(Right of First Refusal).

Now it has been decided that for any kind of charter of a vessel undertaken through a tender process, the Right of First Refusal (RoFR) would be exerted in the following manner:

  1. Indian built, Indian flagged and Indian owned
  2. Foreign built, Indian flagged and Indian owned
  3. Indian built, foreign flagged and foreign owned

Provided that:

  1. All vessels flying the flag of India (i.e. registered in India) up to the date of issue of new circular by the Director General of Shipping shall be deemed to be Indian built vessels and will fall in category (i) above and
  2. The foreign flagged vessels permitted by DG (Shipping) under Section 406 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958 for chartering by an Indian citizen/company/society, who is building a ship in an Indian shipyard for registration under the Indian flag, as a temporary substitute for the Indian ship under construction, meeting the following two conditions shall be deemed to fall under Category (i) above.
  1. 25% of the contract money has been paid to the Indian shipyard
  2. 50% of the hull fabrication has been completed, as certified by Recognised Organisation.

The duration of licence to such chartered vessel shall be limited to the period of building of the ship, as mentioned in the shipbuilding contract.

It is to be noted that Ministry of Shipping has made provision for long-term subsidy for shipbuilding activities under shipbuilding financial assistance policy (2016-2026). The Ministry has already disbursed an amount of Rs 61.05 crores till date under this policy. It is an endeavour of the Government to further incentivise shipbuilding by providing additional market access and business support to ships built in India.

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discount on cargo movement

https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1665113

The Ministry of Shipping has extended the current concessional rate of 40% discount for coastal movement of cargo and vessel related charges, for a period of further one year to clients for cargo being handled at Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Deendayal Port from/to Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar, Iran.

The levy of concessional Vessel Related Charges (VRC) is to be applied proportionately, subject to vessel loading at least 50 TEUs or 5000 MT cargo to Shahid Beheshti Port.

The ports in coordination with Indian Ports Global Limited will jointly evolve a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to ensure that discounts are given to cargo actually discharged or loaded at Shahid Beheshti Terminal of Chabahar Port.

The aim of the extension of discount period is to promote the trade through Shahid Beheshti Port of Chabahar, Iran. It would give a boost to coastal movement of cargo being handled at Jawaharlal Nehru Port and Deendayal Port from/to Shahid Beheshti Port.

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container detention charges

PIB press release dated 29th March, 2020

Ministry of Shipping has advised the shipping lines not to impose any container detention charges on import and export shipments for the period from 22nd March,2020 to 14th April,2020(both days inclusive) over and above free time arrangements that is currently agreed and availed as part of any negotiated contractual terms. The Advisory has been issued in order to maintain proper supply lines at the Indian Seaports. During this period, Shipping lines have also been advised not to impose any new or additional charge. This decision is purely one-time measure to deal with present disruptions caused by COVID-19 outbreak.

Following the announcement of the lockdownin the country from 25th March, 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic, there has been some disturbance in downstream services, leading to some delay in evacuation of goods from the ports. This has resulted in some cargo owners either suspending their operations or finding it difficult to transport goods/cargo and complete their paperwork, leading to detention of containers without their fault. The Advisory will help in smooth functioning of trade and maintenance of supply chain in the country.

 

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Port authorities

PIB press release dated 12th March, 2020

Major Port Authorities Bill 2020 was introduced in the Loksabha by the minister of state for shipping (I/C) Shri Mansukh MANDAVIYA. The Billseeks to provide for regulation, operation and planning of Major Ports in India and to vest the administration, control and management of such ports upon the Boards of Major Port Authorities and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

The Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi had approved the proposal of Ministry of Shipping to replace the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 by the Major Port Authorities Bill, 2020.  This will empower the Major Ports to perform with greater efficiency on account of full autonomy in decision making and by modernizing the institutional framework of Major Ports.

Earlier, the Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016 and thereafter referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC).  The PSC, after taking evidence and wide spread consultations, submitted its report in July 2017.  Based on this, the Ministry of Shipping introduced the official amendment to the Bill in the Lok Sabha in 2018.  However, the Bill got lapsed after the dissolution of previous Lok Sabha.

With a view to promote the expansion of port infrastructure and facilitate trade and commerce, the Major Port Authorities Bill 2020 bill aims at decentralizing decision making and to infuse professionalism in governance of major ports.  It would help to impart faster and transparent decision making benefiting the stakeholders and better project execution capability.  The Bill is aimed at reorienting the governance model in central ports to landlord port model in line with the successful global practice.  This will also help in bringing transparency in operations of Major Ports.

The Bill has been prepared after extensive consultation with all the stakeholders and Ministries/ Departments and taking into account the recommendations of PSC.  The salient features of the Major Port Authorities Bill 2020 are as under: –

  1. The Bill is more compact in comparison to the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963 as the number of sections has been reduced to 76 from 134 by eliminating overlapping and obsolete Sections.
  2. The new Bill has proposed a simplified composition of the Board of Port Authority which will comprise of 11 to 13 Members from the present 17 to 19 Members representing various interests.  A compact Board with professional independent Members will strengthen decision making and strategic planning.  Provision has been made for inclusion of representative of State Government in which the Major Port is situated, Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Defence and Customs, Department of Revenue as Members in the Board apart from a Government Nominee Member and a Member representing the employees of the Major Port Authority.
  3. The role of Tariff Authority for Major Ports (TAMP) has been redefined.  Port Authority has now been given powers to fix tariff which will act as a reference tariff for purposes of bidding for PPP projects.  PPP operators will be free to fix tariff based on market conditions.  The Board of Port Authority has been delegated the power to fix the scale of rates for other port services and assets including land.
  4. An Adjudicatory Board has been proposed to be created to carry out the residual function of the erstwhile TAMP for Major Ports, to look into disputes between ports and PPP concessionaires, to review stressed PPP projects and suggest measures to review stressed PPP projects and suggest measures to revive such projects and to look into complaints regarding services rendered by the ports/ private operators operating within the ports would be constituted.
  5. The Boards of Port Authority have been delegated full powers to enter into contracts, planning and development, fixing of tariff except in national interest, security and emergency arising out of inaction and default.  In the present MPT Act, 1963 prior approval of the Central Government was required in 22 instances.
  6. The Board of each Major Port shall be entitled to create specific master plan in respect of any development or infrastructure established or proposed to be established within the port limits and the land appurtenant thereto and such master plan shall be independent of any local or State Government regulations of any authority whatsoever.
  7. Provisions of CSR & development of infrastructure by Port Authority have been introduced.
  8. Provision has been made for safeguarding the pay & allowances and service conditions including pensionary benefits of the employees of major ports and Tariff of Major Ports.

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