Concessions for vehicle imports via Hambantota Port
As an effective measure to ease the long berthing delays experienced by roll on roll off vessels at the Port of Colombo, the SLPA said yesterday in consultation with shipping lines and importers decided to route all such vessels to the Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port with effect from 31 May 2012.
Vehicle parking yards in the Port have become congested due to the large influx of imports in spite of the SLPA releasing many underutilised areas for vehicle parking.
In addition, used vehicle importers fail to clear their vehicles expeditiously from the Port, in spite of the SLPA increasing rental charges recently.
On the other hand, new vehicle importers are given the opportunity of clearing their consignments without delays by taking direct delivery. Vehicles being stowed within the port for long durations have caused much inconvenience for the efficient functioning of this vital sector and in addition safety of the vehicles is also being compromised.
Due to the non availability of berthing facilities at the Colombo Port, vessels experience delays of more than 10 days and as a result freight rates have been increased by the lines, which in turn add to the cost of the selling price of a vehicle in the local market. The situation also results in a reluctance of shipping lines to enter Colombo.
Hambantota Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port has hence been identified as the most suitable alternative, with simplified clearing arrangements and ample parking areas with dedicated terminals and other facilities.
In addition to the already announced concessions granted to any type of vessel calling at the Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port (MRMR Port) by the SLPA, importers of vehicles are being afforded special concessions. The prompt berthing of vessels and ample secure parking facilities would assure speedy turnaround of vessels.
With such attractive concessions being afforded, it is expected that all vehicle importers will avail themselves of this facility at Hambantota. The SLPA is vigorously campaigning to establish the MRMR Port as a preferred transhipment hub for vehicles and attractive incentives are being afforded to shipping lines to avail themselves of this facility.
The vast areas available for parking of vehicles will be an added boost for the transhipment trade. The additional safety and security precautions there will also result in maximum standards of reducing damages.