BGMEA opposes the 35% increase in Inland Container Depot fees

The repeal of the 35% increase in inland container depot (ICD) import fees has been demanded by clothing producers. Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) sent a letter to the depot owners on Sunday stating that hiking off-dock fees without the shipping ministry tariff committee’s clearance is utterly unlawful.

The Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association (Bicda) increased the import container handling fees by 35% on August 11 in response to the historic increase in gasoline prices.

The association announced that it would shortly decide whether to raise fees in two additional industries, including processing of export cargo. But on Saturday, Syed Nazrul Islam, the first vice president of the BGMEA, addressed a letter to the Bicda objecting to the ICD increases.

“According to the ICD policy of the shipping ministry, every fee increase by the private off-docks need the agreement of the tariff committee. However, the ICDs are unilaterally imposing a variety of fees on import containers without the committee’s consent, which is utterly unlawful “says the letter. The letter highlights how the country’s garment industry suffered greatly as a result of private ICDs raising their prices by 23% in November of last year without the committee’s consent.

There are 19 private ICDs where all the export goods through Chattogram port are packed in containers. Additionally, 38 different imports, including food, are supplied from the off-docks. The off-dock fees weren’t adjusted by the tariff committee, according to Bicda Secretary General Ruhul Amin Shikder; instead, the ICDs raised the fees independently in response to the increase in fuel prices.