Biman waives demurrage on storage at Shahjalal Airport

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The government yesterday decided to waive the demurrage fees on the storage of imported raw materials of garment items piled up at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) warehouse.

Biman Bangladesh Airlines yesterday said it would give the waiver to the garment raw materials that would be imported between March 26 and May 5.

“Because there is a lockdown,” the national flag carrier said in a circular.

The move came after the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) applied to the Biman authorities seeking the waiver because of the coronavirus fallouts.

A lot of imported goods have been stored in the warehouse for many days because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently, nearly 2,000 tonnes of imported cargoes are now stored in the Biman warehouse because of slow delivery, up from its storage capacity of 800 tonnes.

Of the stored goods, 60 per cent are garment raw materials and the rest includes pharmaceuticals raw materials and spare parts.

The waiver should be extended to all other imported goods, said Kabir Ahmed, president of the Bangladesh Freight Forwarders Association.

The waiver decision on the garment raw materials was taken as the BGMEA applied earlier, said Mohibul Haque, secretary of the civil aviation and tourism ministry.

“We are planning to extend the same facility to other imported goods stored in the airport warehouse.”

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry has called for the waiver.

Currently, the warehouse management is releasing 190 tonnes of cargoes every day.