India to ease chartering restrictions

India to ease chartering restrictions

The rapid opening up of India’s shipping sector continues. Fresh from announcing a partial relaxation of the country’s cabotage law, the ministry of shipping is now promulgating new laws whereby Indian owners will be able to charter foreign flagged ships far more easily.

At present, a foreign ship is allowed to be chartered only — among other conditions — if a suitable Indian ship is unavailable for that purpose at reasonable charter rates. This is set to change with shipping secretary Gopal Krishna telling the local Hindu Business Line newspaper: “While we were relaxing cabotage rules, we found restrictive practices in the chartering of foreign vessels. We need to correct this quickly.”

Krishna added: “Once we have ships available at cheaper rates, we will encourage coastal shipping and the overall logistics cost will reduce significantly.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.

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