To support the cruise shipping industry hit by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, India's Government has rationalized tariff rates for cruise ships that would reduce port charges by 60-70%, the Ministry of Shipping said on Friday, August 14.
The move is aimed at boosting the COVID-hit economy. According to India's Shipping Minister (Mansukh Mandaviya), it would be a huge boost to the country's cruise tourism in line with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of putting India on the global cruise map.
In a statement, the Ministry said that it had rationalized tariff rates for cruise ships plying on the rivers and oceanic waters of the country. The net effect of the rate relaxation is expected to be an immediate reduction in port charges ranging from 60 to 70%, which would give substantial relief to India's cruise industry, in line with government policy to support the economy in a pandemic situation.
The Shipping Minister added the decision would provide support to the domestic cruise ship tourism "against the economic impact of the pandemic."
Image: Port of Cochin (Kochi, India)
The rationalized tariff rates for cruise ships include port charges at "USD 0.085 per GRT (Gross Registered Tonnage) instead of USD 0.35 of the current rate, for the first 12 hours stay (Fixed Rate) and USD 5 per passenger (Head Tax). The Ports will not charge any other rate like berth hire, port dues, pilotage, passenger fee, etc," the statement said.
For the period exceeding 12-hour stay, the fixed charges on cruise vessels are equal to the Berth Hire Charges payable as per SOR (Schedule of Rates) with a 40 % discount as applicable for cruise ships.
Cruise vessels making 1-50 calls annually get a 10% rebate, vessels making 51-100 calls get 20% rebate, and ships making 100+ calls annually get a 30% rebate.
The rationalized tariff is immediately effective for a one-year period.
The tariff has been rationalized "with a view to providing support to the cruise shipping business, which has been adversely affected due to the pandemic."
The rationalization would also help to ensure that cruise ship calls at Indian Ports do not completely dry up.