Staff Reporter

KOCHI: The Cochin Port Trust has decided to revive an earlier proposal for setting up a duty-free shop on its premises to cater, largely, to the needs of ship crews and visitors on the increasing number of cruise liners calling at the port. A trust official said here on Saturday that the authorities had finalised proposals in this regard and kept ready the documents, and they would go in for legal vetting soon. Once that was through, the trust would invite expression of interest from those with experience in running duty-free shops. The port did not have expertise in the field.

He said the expression of interest would be called by the second half of January. Port authorities had been contemplating setting up a duty-free shop for some time.

Chennai and Visakhapatnam are among the seaports having duty-free shops.

Timber import

Meanwhile, a press release from the trust said here that timber import through the port had gone up during 2004-05.

Timber importers had, in the past, preferred Tuticorin and New Mangalore ports for import of timber meant for Kerala. In October 2004, the trust had announced concessional wharfage rates and land rent for storage of timber.

Permission was also granted to importers, or agents, to use their own equipment in timber-stacking yard.