The Hambantota International Port (HIP) is ready to move over five thousand vehicles out of the port in the next few days, following a directive by the Government that the port should remain clear for essential services.
HIP had previously informed all stakeholders, in their letter, that demurrage costs incurred from the 16 March 2020 to the 30 April 2020 will be waived.
“Up to date only around a thousand vehicles out of approximately 6500 have been cleared. For us to expedite clearance, we need the full cooperation of importers. As a port, we run a 24-hour operation and we hope we will be able to clear the vehicles by the end of this month. The authorities have ensured that all relevant government departments are operational to facilitate the clearance,” says Tissa Wickremasinghe, COO of HIPG.
The COO adds that those who do not help expedite the clearing process will stand to lose since the demurrage free period is strictly up to the 30th April 2020, and will not be extended whatever the circumstances.
The Government has declared all port operations, including the movement of import and export cargo, as essential services. Therefore, the document center at HIP is operational and is open to its partners and clients, to handle their paperwork without delay. HIP has also enabled an online payment transfer system and is in the final process of implementing the e-DO facility for customers.