Stricter regulations relating to import delivery fees and import container deposit refunds have been announced by the Sri Lankan Director General of Merchant Shipping (DGMS). Under this new regime, the maximum delivery order fee a consignee or importer (except in the case of freight forwarders or consolidators) needed to pay for a full container load (FCL) has been set at Rs 11,000 (US$55). In the case of a loose cargo load (LCL), meanwhile, the maximum delivery order fee is Rs 12,500 (US$63). The guidelines also cap the maximum delivery order fee chargeable by a vessel operator or shipping line to a freight forwarder/consolidator. In the case of FCLs, the new maximum is Rs 9,000 (US$45), while for LCLs it is set at Rs 10,000 (US$50).
The new legislation also specifies the maximum time service providers can take to refund import container deposits. This sees shipping lines, non‑vessel owning common carrier agents, consolidators, and freight forwarders obliged to refund such deposits to importers within 30 days of a container being returned to the depot, assuming all the statutory paperwork has been completed. As long as the container has been returned in an acceptable condition, no additional charges are then payable.
(Source : HKTDC Research)