In the face of criticism for unilaterally increasing service charges last week, Private Inland Container Depots (ICDs) decided to hold discussions with stakeholders before raising rates at their other facilities.
Through an August 11 notice, the Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association (Bicda) has increased fees for a service involving handling containers loaded with imports by about 34% with immediate effect.
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The platform said it was one of five types of services that required the use of diesel, such as vehicle and equipment operations, and whose tariffs needed to be adjusted upwards. August 5 fuel prices.
The government has raised fuel prices by up to 51.7%, the highest in the country’s history. The price of each liter of diesel reached 114 Tk against 80 Tk.
To decide on the remaining service charges, Bicda offered to hold meetings with the Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association (BSAA) and the Bangladesh Forwarders Association (BAFFA).
On Wednesday, Bicda met with shipping agents and a consensus was reached on a 24% increase in empty container handling charges.
The service includes the use of prime movers to transport empty containers between Chattogram Port and the ICDs and forklifts to move corrugated boxes short distances within the ICDs.
Shipping agents pay the fee on behalf of the shipping companies, which own the empty containers.
Currently, the running cost of main engines for an empty 20ft container is 1,415 Tk and 2,830 Tk for a 40ft container. If forklifts are used, an additional Tk 425 is charged.
Bicda officials said an official circular would soon be issued announcing the new rate involving empty containers and that it would have retroactive effect, applicable to services used since August 6, the day the new fuel prices entered. in force.
The 24% hike was based on proposals focused on cost analysis conducted by the two associations, said BSAA chairman Syed Md Arif, who led his board at Wednesday’s meeting, at the Daily Star.
Bicda executives, including Chairman Nurul Qayyum Khan and First Vice Chairman SAJ Rizvi, assured to readjust the charge if diesel prices were cut by the government in the future, he said.
The fuel consumption for handling empty containers is lower, for which the rise in service involving empty containers is lower than that of loaded import containers, explained Bicda Secretary General, Md Ruhul Amin Sikder.
He said they would sit down with BAFFA leaders on Sunday to discuss raising the export fee for the prank package.
The export stuffing package consists of transporting an empty container from a depot to its Container Freight Station (CFS), loading goods into the container, returning the loaded container to the depot and transporting it further late to port for shipment.
On August 13, the first vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), Syed Nazrul Islam, sent a letter to the president of Bicda urging him to postpone the container handling fee hike import.
He pointed out that any unilateral increase in service fees by Bicda was a violation of the ICD policy approved by the Ministry of Transport in 2016.
Under the policy, a stakeholder committee formed by the ministry can only propose to review CIM fees and any changes must be approved by the ministry before they can go into effect, Islam said.
There is no mention of such a stakeholder committee in the latest ICD policy formulated by the National Revenue Board (NBR) in December last year, said Bicda General Secretary Sikder .
Also, the import processing service fee did not apply to BGMEA members, he said.
This is because containers loaded with raw materials imported by garment factories are not processed by ICDs, but are instead handed over to consignees directly from the port, he added.
BSAA Chairman Arif said the NBR was working to change the policy and that steps were underway to form the stakeholder committee.
He, however, welcomed Bicda’s decision to sit down with stakeholders to decide on charge increases.