India to Exempt Export-Import Shippers from Bunker Duty

Monday September 29, 2014

The Indian Government has announced it will exempt vessels carrying export-import cargo from a 25 percent marine fuel duty, news outlet Business Standard reports.

"A decision has been taken that the coastal vessels which are carrying exim cargo or containers will be given duty free fuel ... It suddenly cuts down fuel cost in coastal shipping," said Shipping Secretary Vishwapati Trivedi.

It is understood that the move is expected to draw more large container ships to India's coast.

According to Business Standard, the Indian Shipping Ministry has been tasked with luring transshipment business away from rival ports including Colombo in Sri Lanka.

Currently, approximately 60 percent of India's export-import containers use Singapore or Colombo as transshipment ports rather than those along India's own extensive coastline which is said to push up prices and increase the time that goods are in transit.

Earlier this month, players in India's coastal shipping sector said they needed government and industry support for the development of bunkering facilities in the country.