COVID-19: KoPT invokes ‘force majeure’ to give relief to port users


KOLKATA: The Kolkata Port Trust has decided to waive demurrage or rent charges and not to levy fines on port users for delay in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak as it invoked “force majeure” from March 22, sources said on Tuesday. “Force majeure” is a clause that absolves firms from meeting their contractual commitments for reasons beyond their control.

“Kolkata Port Trust has considered the COVID-19 pandemic as a natural calamity and invoked ‘force majeure’ from 6 am on March 22 to 6 am on April 15, 2020,” sources told .

This will help all the stakeholders and port users to deal with the situation arising out of the coronavirus- triggered lockdown, they said.

KoPT has decided to waive demurrage or rent charges for all types of cargo and container, effective from 6 am on March 22, to 6 am on April 15, 2020.

The contractors operating mobile harbour cranes at berth numbers 1, 5, 9 and 14, Haldia floating and container terminal will not be penalised for achieving less productivity, the port said.

“Penal charges will not be levied on the vessel’s agent for achieving less productivity at berth no – 10,” the port said in a trade circular.

The above period will be exempted from consideration of minimum guaranteed throughput (MGT) period for strategic plans and other similar schemes, it said.

Meanwhile, Kolkata Port Trust has carried out a major sanitisation drive in all berths at Haldia dock complex to bring its operations to the normal level which slumped to 50 per cent after a dock employee was tested positive to coronavirus on Saturday.

The port authority on Tuesday said operations are going on at Haldia dock complex as 9 ships are working there while Kolkata dock system received 18 vessels in last 6 days.

KoPT has been closely monitoring the cargo handling at the different berths to ensure safety of workers and its employees and maintenance of social distancing.

Besides the port authority has set up three medical clinics inside the dock for health checking of all cargo handling workers. BSM BDC BDC


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