Kathmandu, March 15
Nepal’s trade via air route is most certainly going to soar as Nepal Transit and Warehousing Company (NTWC) – the government agency managing the cargoes in the air cargo building of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal – has raised the charges on air cargo services substantially from today.
Sundar Dahal, managing director of Starlight Express – a logistics service providing company – informed that the per kg rate of handling air cargo (on import) has been hiked from 43 paisa to eye-watering Rs 5.35.
The NTWC has also slapped additional charge of Rs 200 per consignment if the services are provided during off hours or public holidays. It has fixed demurrage charges after 24 hours of the cargo being parked in the warehouse and after five days on imported goods as well.
Demurrage charge on export has been fixed at one rupee per kg for first 30 days, Rs 1.50 per kg for 60 days and two rupees per kg after 60 days. Similarly, demurrage charges have been set at two rupees per kg after five days of import till first 30 days, Rs 2.50 per kg between 31 and 60 days of import and four rupees per kg after 60 days.
Traders and freight forwarders have condemned the decision, as it would significantly raise the cost of trade via air route. They have warned to take to streets to force the government to roll back the decision.
Kumar KC, general manager of NTWC, however, said that the charges were revised as per the agreement with CAAN.
“The revision is based on the agreement inked between CAAN and NWTC in 2009,” he said. CAAN and NTWC had agreed to review the charges after the civil aviation authority had roped in NTWC as the management partner and agreed to share 30 per cent of the total revenue.
Prior to NTWC taking over the management, the Department of Customs was operating the air cargo warehouse and the traders were charged very nominal fees.
NTWC had revised the charges back in 2009 also. However, it was forced to revert to the earlier rates following the strike of traders and freight forwarders. Even as the company has repeatedly tried to revise the rates, its attempts have fallen flat because it has been forced to roll back its decision every time owing to the strikes of traders and freight forwarders.
Today, NTWC raised the charges for every cargo, except the body of deceased and relief materials supplied during natural disasters.
|Nature of cargo||Export||Import|
|General||Rs 2.50 (minimum charge Rs 200)||Rs 5.35 (minimum charge Rs 100)|
|Expensive||Rs 3 (minimum charge Rs 300)||Rs 8 (minimum charge Rs 200)|
|Perishable||Rs 3 (minimum charge Rs 300)||Rs 8 (minimum charge Rs 200)|
|Dangerous||Rs 6 (minimum charge Rs 600)||Rs 16 (minimum charge Rs 400)|
|Express courier, express cargo||Rs 5 (minimum charge Rs 100)||Rs 5 (minimum charge Rs 200)|
Rates per kg; Source: NTWC
A version of this article appears in print on March 16, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.
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