Shippers’ Council welcomes DGMS Guidelines | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Shippers’ Council welcomes DGMS Guidelines

18 July, 2021

The Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council (SLSC) as the apex body representing importers and exporters, welcomes the new Guideline No. 04 issued by the Director General of Merchant Shipping (DGMS) on local charges on imports. The Council salutes the DGMS and his Secretariat for taking swift action to introduce essential guidelines to the industry to safeguard importers and exporters from the clutches of some local and international shipping service providers whose main objective is to maximise profits at the expense of service users. 

The new guideline  is now available in the Merchant Shipping website  - 

The guideline was issued after several rounds of discussions held with industry stakeholders led by the Director General of Merchant Shipping and Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping to manage the escalating DO (Delivery Order) fees and other unethical surcharges introduced by some service providers on imports. 

Sri Lanka already has regulations on the structure of charges for imports under the said Extraordinary Gazette 2041/10 dated 17.10.2017 which details the type of charges service providers can recover from local importers.

All charges on containerised cargo which cover the entire cost of the carriage of goods referred to in the transport document from the origin to destination, shall be included in the all-inclusive freight recovered only from the party who is contractually bound to pay the same based on agreed payment terms. Thus, for imports to Sri Lanka, an importer can only be charged an all-inclusive freight and a delivery order fee (if applicable). No other surcharges could be charged. 

The same regulation empowers the DGMS to determine amounts charged by service providers as DO fees. 

The guideline sets out the maximum amounts that could be charged as Delivery order fees from an importer based on cargo load types.The guideline concludes by introducing procedures on how complaints should be raised, and how disputes/ noncompliance should be handled.

Complaints of noncompliance of this guideline should be emailed to [email protected] with supporting documents. DGMS has formed a recommendation committee with the involvement of trade bodies from service users and service providers to provide recommendations to him to take action against wrongdoers after an inquiry.

The SLSC as the voice of importers and exporters  conducted a virtual awareness seminar on MS teams.