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Foreign containerships calling at Chittagong are facing long delays before they can load containers at the port.
Under the Bangladesh Flag Vessels Protection Act 2019, and more recently implemented rules, domestic ships get priority when carrying containers to and from Chittagong. Foreign ships can carry Bangladeshi cargo only if no local vessels are present, or they must apply to the Mercantile Marine Office of Bangladesh for a waiver certificate 15 days before they want to load or offload cargo.
The waiver application goes to the Bangladesh Shipping Corp and Bangladesh Ocean Going Shipowners Association (BOGSOA), both of which operate container and bulk ships, to certify they have no objection to the foreign ship loading/offloading cargo.
The marine office then issues the waiver certificate to the foreign vessel. It must be applied for on each visit to Bangladesh.
There are complaints that many certificates – supposed to be provided within 72 hours of application – are now taking more than a week, causing delays.
Read more in an article from The Loadstar.