Special Economic Zone procedures will apply to sea-routed transhipment cargo at the ICTT.

More than a month after the Department of Revenue, Union Ministry of Finance, issued a memo laying down procedures to clear transhipment containers at Vallarpadam International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT), the Shipping Ministry has clarified that Special Economic Zone procedures would apply to sea-routed transhipment cargo at the ICTT.

The Additional Commissioner of Central Excise, Customs and Service Tax here is learnt to have conveyed this message to industry stake-holders here in a letter issued last week.

The letter was issued following a meeting in New Delhi in which the Union Shipping Secretary clarified on the decisions taken earlier on clearing transshipment containers at the Vallarpadam terminal.

The meeting held in New Delhi on June 21 was clear that transshipment at Vallarpadam terminal, located within a special economic zone, would be handled under the SEZ procedures for sea-routed foreign to foreign and foreign to domestic cargo.

This means that containers originating in a foreign country and headed for another foreign country (moving through sea) via the ICTT will be cleared by Customs at the Special Economic Zone.

Containers originating in India and going to a foreign country (sea-to-sea) will also be cleared by SEZ Customs. Similarly, containers originating in a foreign country and headed for a destination in India, moving via the sea, will also be cleared by SEZ Customs.

However, containers originating in India moving either on road or rail into ICTT will be cleared by the Department of Revenue, Customs. Containers moving out of ICTT via road or rail will also be cleared by the Department of Revenue, Customs.

The latest clarification is expected to help resume transshipment business at the ICTT, at a standstill since late January this year.

Since the Department of Customs has been insisting on checking each of the containers for security reasons, transshipment business has been down at the terminal.

Difficulties related to clearance of transshipment containers originated with the seizure of red sanders from the terminal premises in October last year.

Keywords: ICTTSEZSEZ Customs

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