Delay in clearing 500 containers hits textile industry in Tamil Nadu

Textile industry in Tamil Nadu said that nearly 500 containers carrying apparel accessories and fabrics are stuck in and around Chennai. These containers have come mainly from China.

According to Tirupur Exporters Association (TEA) nearly 500 containers are stuck in and around Chennai seaport, along with 500 tonnes of cargo at Chennai airport and another 400 tonnes at Bengaluru airport. The merchandise consisted entirely of apparel accessories and fabrics.

The imported consignments arriving from China have not been cleared by the Customs for the past 10 days even after duty has been paid, said Raja M Shanmugham, President, TEA.

He has written to Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce to help clear the goods immediately, as any more delay will further impact the already affected Tirupur knitwear garment export sector.

He added that garment exports are facing stiff competition from countries like Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia, apart from China and foreign buyers are always very keen to get quality products at competitive prices and tight delivery schedules. 

"Any delay in making sea shipments at the right time will push exporters to resort for Air shipment, otherwise the buyers won’t place any future orders and categorize the units as unreliable suppliers," said Shanmugham.

He added, "The non-clearance of imported consignments, despite the importer having made payment, is like rubbing salt on to the wounds. Importers are also incurring demurrage. The concern is that buyers are now doubting that the goods will be shipped as per delivery schedule. While contacting the Customs Authorities, we learnt that they can clear the stranded consignments only after the Centre's approval."

While customs maintained that they are not holding back the goods, sources from the industry said that they were told that the authorities are investigating something and in a day or two things will be cleared.

Industry sources have said that they received calls from the customs late last night and they were asked not to give deliveries of Containers, which have products made-in-China as they are "investigating" something.

They have confirmed it is not a written order, orally instructions were given and after the investigation the cargoes will be released.

This is not the first time such a thing is happening, in Chennai alone it has happened four times whenever customs get some intelligence on some illegal imports, dumping waste among others. After one or two days they will release.

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