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India, China block each other's shipments at ports

Jun '20
Pic: Shutterstock
Pic: Shutterstock
India's decision to hold back goods exported from China at ports and airports has led to counteraction from the other side, with China and Hong Kong customs holding back export consignments from India. The Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO), which fears a major tit-for-tat measure from China, has written to the commerce ministry about the issue.

In the absence of any official word on the matter, FIEO president Sharad Kumar Saraf has requested the Indian commerce ministry to come out with an official clarification that India has not resorted to any such blanket move to targets goods from China.

Physical examination of items from China at ports in Mumbai and Chennai is resulting in delays in arrival of consignments, adding to overall costs, FIEO said. The move will delay clearance, particularly due to low staffing on account of the ongoing pandemic. In many cases, goods will have to be unpacked in the presence of importers for checking.

Unnamed Indian finance ministry officials told a media outlet that some containers might have been held up based on intelligence inputs and for risk assessment, which is a routine and is not linked to tension at the border with China.

“There is an internal instruction from customs to all custodians of cargo including port terminal, airport and all customs freight stations to hold all consignments which have originated from China,” said a statement from the Chennai Customs Brokers Association.

China’s exports to India stand at 2.8 per cent of its total exports, while India's exports to China are around 5.4 per cent of the total exports.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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