Govt. supports shipping sector impacted by COVID-19

Measures will be taken to grant required facilities to the business community at port premises itself to ensure import and export mechanisms remain uninterrupted.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday instructed the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to immediately provide necessary facilities to ships calling at ports in the country during the curfew period.

Accordingly, SLPA Chairman General Daya Ratnayake said all ships had been exempted from demurrage and entry charges. The President had also directed to offer several more relief measures in order to continue regular operations at ports.

Measures will be taken to grant required facilities to the business community at port premises itself to ensure import and export mechanisms remain uninterrupted. Sri Lanka Customs, SLPA terminals operated within the Colombo Port (JCT/UCT and SAGT), and other privately-owned terminals will collaborate in this effort. Facilities will be provided covering every segment, General Rathnayake said.

The services given are as follows:

1. During the curfew period, yard and warehouse rental charges for imported containers and goods, and imported empty containers have been completely removed.

2. Harbour gate access permits/individual access permits currently available for trucks, lorries, tippers and bowsers used by the port for its transportation purposes and harbour gate access permits currently available to agencies and companies for their common/private vehicles (vans, cars, motorcycles) are also valid during the curfew period.

3. The Police have taken steps to issue licences for private sector workers engaged in essential and related duties on the recommendation of the SLPA.

4. Facilities have been arranged to obtain fuel needed for the container/freight carriers operating between the terminals and inter-terminals at the port.

5. SLPA employees engaged in essential services are to be provided sanitation, welfare and transportation facilities.

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