Door-to-door delivery of cargo shipments from across the Middle East which was stuck in India for several months awaiting customs clearance has been resumed.
A notification with this regard was issued by the Indian government last month and is in the process of being implemented says a senior official of International Couriers and Cargo Association of India.
The past month has seen significant improvements in cargo clearance and the associations in the UAE which took the lead in demanding proactive measures say the present government in India has helped.
Last year several hundred tonnes of cargo sent from across the Middle East to India was stuck for several months at Mumbai and Delhi awaiting customs clearance.
The situation got worse when airports in Kerala stopped accepting inbound cargo following fears that gold was being smuggled.
According to estimates about 500 to 700 tonnes of cargo was stuck or delayed due to the problem last year and most air cargo companies from across the region including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have even stopped accepting door to door cargo to Kerala.
Speaking to Emirates 24/7, Mohammed Ziad, President of International Couriers and Cargo Association of India said the government notification has reopened the door to door cargo section in Kochi and several other airports across India. Trivandrum, where the other major airport in Kerala is located however continues to remain closed.
The government has also increased the value of gift items that can be sent via cargo service from Rs10,000 to Rs20,000. "We have however demanded the government to further increase it to Rs40,000. Currently an NRI can send upto 70 kilos legally to India. But it is unreasonable to expect that the value of the total goods be limited to Rs20,000," he says.
Both the sender and the receiver has to submit a valid UAE national ID or any other identity card issued by the government of the resident country and the receiver in India should possess a valid government ID to receive the shipment.
Also sending electronic items as well as other commercial items for business or related activity is not allowed.
The re-opening of the door to door cargo delivery service is expected to further boost the business activity for such companies across the gulf, many of who had shifted their focus on cargo deliveries to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh Nepal and the Philippines. Sending one kilogram of cargo to India today costs Dh11 compared to Dh79 per kilo plus applicable taxes for excess baggage by Emirates airline to Kochi. Passengers will have to pay Dh356 for 5 kilos or less of excess baggage on Emirates to the same airport. On Jet Airways on the other hand passengers will have to shell out $20 for every additional kilogram of excess baggage.