The Commerce Ministry has asked its shipping and health counterparts to consider reducing the 14-day mandatory quarantine period for shipping vessels arriving from ports in China for faster turnaround time and increasing availability of containers, sources said.
The Commerce Ministry has asked to reduce the 14-day quarantine period to seven days as the 14-day period is impacting trade, they added.
"A communication regarding this was sent from the Department of Commerce on October 22," one of the sources said.
In March, the Directorate General of Shipping had issued an advisory to ports for handling vessels, under which it had instructed that shipping vessels arriving from any port in China will have to mandatorily undergo a 14-day quarantine before touching an Indian port.
These guidelines were issued in the light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said cutting down the quarantine time to seven days would help in reducing freight cost and augmenting availability of containers.
"This is quite a logical move and would help both in reducing freight cost and augmenting availability of containers. Many shipping lines were not calling on Indian ports due to 14-day quarantine period. The reduction in quarantine period would send a positive signal to such lines," FIEO Director General Ajay Sahai said.
He added that CONCOR (Container Corporation of India) has been asked to release empty containers and shipping lines are also being asked to bring containers back from Middle Eastern countries.
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