India asks ports to waive demurrage and other charges

A worker rides his bicycle past steel rims in a dockyard at Mumbai Port Trust in Mumbai

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India has asked its ports to waive demurrage and other charges for any delays in arrival, berthing and other operations of ships caused by a 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, a government statement said.

Although ports, which come under the purview of essential services, are operating with minimal staff to ensure smooth supplies of food and other essential goods, the lockdown has slowed down the operation. The order, issued on Tuesday by the shipping ministry, has asked ports not to levy demurrage and other charges until April 14, when the lockdown ends. To avoid paying damages to users for any delays in operations, some ports in India including those owned by Adani Ports & SEZ Ltd (APSEZ) have declared force majeure after the government announced the lockdown.


(Reporting by Mayank Bhardwaj; Editing by Alison Williams)