A statement issued by the Port Trust here recently said many NRIs faced serious problems while sending home their belongings using the sea route.

Cochin Port Trust has issued a set of guidelines to non-resident Indians, especially those in the Gulf countries, who use the sea route to bring their personal belongings when they return home from their work.

A statement issued by the Port Trust here recently said many NRKs faced serious problems while sending home their belongings using the sea route. Unreliable freight forwarders were one of the difficulties while the lack of local agents in Kochi was another.

It has also been found that consignments from several people are consolidated in a container and sent home in the name of one of the persons who has a consignment of cargo in the container. This leads to difficulties in tracing the importer and causes delay in delivery. Expatriates using the sea route have been, first, asked to ensure that the freight forwarder they are entrusting their baggage with have sufficient credentials. The consignor at the port of origin should verify the identity of the freight handler and also make sure that the handler has a credible counterpart in Kochi, where the luggage is headed.

Norms for consignor

The consignor should make sure that the two parties take responsibility for the delivery of the parcels being entrusted with the handler at the port of origin. Details of registered Customs House agents at Kochi can be obtained from the website www.cchaa.org

The guidelines issued by the port further said that the consignor should confirm the various heads of expenditures included in the door-to-door charge billed by the freight forwarder at the port of origin.

The consignor should also contact the Kochi counterpart to make sure that the quoted cost covers everything and that there will be no hidden or additional cost when the cargo lands in Kochi, the port of destination.

The consignor should, then, insist that he or she be informed as soon as the container with the consignment arrived in Kochi. He or she also should insist that the Kochi agent shift the container for de-stuffing so as to avoid demurrage and other detention charges at the Vallarpadam terminal.

The cargo is then shifted to the delivery shed and the rates charged by the Port Trust are as follows: Ground rent for container per day is three dollars from the fourth day to 15th day; the rent is six dollars from the 16th day to 30the day and 12 dollars per day thereafter.

The port advisory also said that it would be best to avoid consolidation of cargo in one container as one did not know the nature of the cargo being sent home by the others. It can lead to legal complications in some cases.

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