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Indian government pondering FMC-style regulation over shipping charges

Indian government pondering FMC-style regulation over shipping charges

   The Indian government is considering establishing a regulatory body for the shipping industry to check the arbitrary way shipping charges are assessed in the country's port, the Economic Times reported today.

   'Officials in the commerce department said shipping companies had been increasing charges arbitrarily by imposing various tariffs and surcharges without any provocation,' the report said. 'In the absence of any authority to keep a check, shipping companies are imposing any levy at will, officials said. The proposal for setting up a regulator for shipping charges was floated by the commerce department in a recent meeting on the high transaction costs and overcharging by shipping lines.'

   Delhi Exporters Association president S.P. Agarwal has complained that shipping lines 'are forcing exporters to fork out additional tariffs in the name of documentation and nomination charges, and handling costs. Freight charges having been rising of late due to growing global trade and increasing demand for shipping services. In line with commodity prices, freight costs have also been increasing.'