At a time when the anti-China sentiments calling for economic boycott is looming large as a result of border standoff in Eastern Ladakh, the Chennai customs on Tuesday held up China-centric consignments, leaving importers anxious
According to the sources, the imported consignments, most of them manufacturing raw materials including semiconductors, arrived in Chennai Monday late night and have not yet been cleared by the Customs department. However, the materials arrived from the other countries are already cleared. It left at least 60 manufacturers in the town in stress as the Customs did not reveal the reason for held up’, the sources said
'It’s true that the Customs department keeps delaying the process of clearing the consignments from China since Monday night. We are told that they kept the process delayed due to the intelligence report and a thorough checking on consignments underway based on intelligence input. However, the Customs officials did not reveal the details of the Intelligence. We hope it will be cleared in a day’, said S. Nataraja, President, Chennai Customs Brokers’ Association (CCBA).
However, many importers doubt that Customs department has been given oral instruction from the government to hold delivery of goods from China as part of the China boycott campaign.
An importer said that the current situation came at a time when the global supply chain has already been badly impacted due to Covid19 pandemic. It may be recalled that thousands of containers that arrived from China post outbreak had been stranded in February last at various Indian ports as documents giving details of goods inside the boxes that need to be given to Indian consignees were stuck inside locked offices of shippers at Chinese cities.
Meanwhile, R. Srinivasa Naik, Customs Commissioner (Import) told DC that he had got nothing in writing from the senior officials about the boycott of China products. ‘The current issue did happen due to specific intelligence inputs. We held up the consignments from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong for checking. The materials arrived from the other countries have already been released. We know that many manufacturers are anxious as the country witnesses a boycott campaign against Chinese products. We have been getting calls from concerned importers since the morning. The things will be back to normalcy by Wednesday morning‘, Commissioner said.