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Thursday, 18 November 2010

Indian coastal shipping may permit foreign flag ships . . .

DG Shipping has issued a note, seeking stakeholders and others to comment on a proposal to open up certain segments of coastal shipping in India to foreign flag merchant navy ships, initially only for loaded containers to be trans-shipped to and from Indian ports. The note can be viewed on DG Shipping's website, and seeks responses by 34th of November 2010.

In brief:-

# Loaded containers only to be moved between Indian ports on foreign flag vessels.
# These foreign flag container ships may be permitted relaxation in manning norms, usually not available to Indian flag ships.
# Cabotage protection will continue for other types of ships on the Indian coast.
# Preferential freight will still continue for Indian flag ships, up from 10% to 25%.
# A separate note has been issued for coastal river-sea vessels under the Indian flag too.

All in all, exciting days ahead for coastal shipping, and who knows - we may yet have a vibrant coastal shipping industry?

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