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* Sri Lanka's ban on terminal handling charges goes into effect
Tue, Jan 7, 2014, 12:25 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 07, Colombo: In a move to reduce the cost of shipping and attract more shipping lines to Sri Lanka's ports, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the 2014 Budget proposed abolishing the terminal handling charges (THCs) and other surcharges levied by the container lines from January this year.

From January 2014, Sri Lankan shippers will pay an all-in freight rate, President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced in his recent budget speech to parliament.

The Ministry of Finance Monday said the Extraordinary Gazette on Terminal Handling and Other Charges by shipping agents, freight forwarders, non-vessel operating common carriers, container operators and consolidators of cargo has been published by President Rajapaksa, who is also the Minister of Highways, Ports and Shipping and the new regulations will take effect from Monday.

"The regulation will be enforced by the Director of Merchant Shipping from Monday, 6 January 2014," the Ministry said in a statement.

"The move crystallizes one of the several proposals made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the Budget 2014 to create greater transparency in the levy of terminal handling and other charges," it said.

According to the Ministry "It will promote productivity growth and competitiveness of imports and exports."

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