Govt. relaxes licence fees for India-controlled ships

The government said domestic shipping firms will have to pay only a one-time licence fee of Rs.20,000 to own foreign flag vessels, in a bid to give a boost to the maritime sector.

“Vessels of Indian Controlled Tonnage will now be required to pay only a one-time processing fee of Rs.20,000 towards issue of licence. Till now, they were being charged Rs. 20,000 on a monthly basis by the Directorate General of Shipping as processing fee for issue of licence under Section 406 of Merchant Shipping Act, 1958,” according to the Union Shipping Ministry on Monday.

Big boost

The government said the move would boost the Indian Controlled Tonnage Scheme and be a step towards promoting ‘ease of doing business’ in the maritime sector. “Paying license fees every month is a tedious process as you have to go through the red tape again and again,” said Vishwapati Trivedi, Former Shipping Secretary. “Although the licence fee was small, the process of submitting the fees was so long. It’s a very positive step that will boost business for the Indian shipping companies.”

“This might seem like a small amount, but every measure to expedite and simplify the process counts in the target of reducing transaction costs for trade,” Shankar Shinde, Vice Chairman, Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations of India, told The Hindu . “With global trade slowing down, this comes as a minor relief for the shipping industry,” he said.

Paying monthly fees is a tedious process as one has to repeatedly encounter red tape