A new stevedoring and shore handling policy for 12 major ports owned by the central government will come into force from July 31, 2016.
“The existing Stevedoring Agents will have to switch over to the new Stevedoring and Shore Handling Scheme from that date (July 31) and charge the ceiling tariff rate fixed. If they do not switch over to the new scheme, the licence shall be terminated by the Port Trusts by giving due notice as envisaged in the Regulations,” the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement.
Stevedoring includes loading and unloading and stowage of cargo in ports. Shore handling includes arranging and receiving the cargo to/from the hook point, inter modal transport from wharf to stackyard and vice-versa and also receiving and delivering of cargo.
“All existing contracts applicable to stevedoring and shore handling operations would be allowed exemption till the date of expiry of the contract or July 31, 2017, whichever date is earlier,” the statement said.
The government said the tariff authority for major ports (TAMP) shall notify the normative tariff for stevedoring and shore handling activities for the major ports based on a set of guidelines, which will be ceiling tariff.
In case of any change in role for TAMP in future, boards of major ports will fix and notify the rates, it said, adding that for Kamarajar Port, its Board may fix the tariff.
This will also apply to Mumbai Port and Haldia where stevedoring is carried out by the ports, it said.
The government said all port customers will be notified on the ceiling tariffs set for stevedoring and shore handling activities and the tariff will be mandatorily displayed on the port’s website.
The port will appoint a nodal officer responsible for monitoring of stevedoring and shore handling tariffs who will be responsible for handling all complaints on violation of stevedoring and shore handling ceiling tariff.
“The Port Trusts should be liberal in issuing licenses to Stevedoring and Shore Handling agents. All eligible agents would be issued licences for Stevedoring and Shore Handling operations to ensure maximum competition. As competition increases, the cost of transaction to the trade will decrease and the quality of services will also improve,” the statement said.