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Cabotage relaxation notified for Kerala's Vallarpadam Terminal
24 December 2012 : Kochi

The Ministry of Shipping has issued orders that the Cabotage restrictions for transhipment of Export Import containers at the International Container Transhipment Terminal, Vallarpadam, Kochi may be relaxed under Section 407(3) of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1958. This relaxation is subject to 100% radiological scanning of containers. The relaxation in the policy will be subject to a review after three years.

Senior port officials said that the Kochi Port has already established 100% radiological scanning. The Vallarpadam Terminal is under Level-II of the Code with its security entrusted with the armed constabulary of the Central Industrial Security Force. The transhipment operations leveraging Cabotage exemption are likely to begin immediately at the Terminal.

Welcoming the announcement, the shipping fraternity said that services through the Terminal will be able to compete effectively with neighbouring transhipment hubs. Exim trade in India will benefit from this development by reduction in transit times up to 7 days and in international freight up to $300 a container.

There were also enquiries from shipping consortiums to accommodate large vessels of 300-350m at the Terminal. With the formal orders on Cabotage announced, these vessels may look at Kochi in their network.

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