Picture for representation
Picture for representation
Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

On Friday, the Ministry of Shipping rationalized tariff rates for cruise vessels. The net effect of the rate relaxation would be an immediate reduction in port charges ranging from 60% to 70%, which will give substantial relief to the cruise industry in India, in line with the government policy to support the economy in COVID-19 pandemic situation.

Here are the rationalized tariff rates for cruise vessels:

  1. The port charges for a Cruise Ship to be charged at $0.085 per GRT (Gross Registered Tonnage) instead of $0.35 of the current rate, for first 12 hours stay ('Fixed Rate') and $5 per passenger (‘Head Tax’).

    The Ports will not charge any other rate like berth hire, port dues, pilotage, passenger fee, etc.

  2. For the period exceeding 12 hours stay, the fixed charges on cruise ships will be equal to the Berth Hire Charges payable as per SOR (Schedule of Rates) (with 40% discount as applicable for cruise ships).

3. Further, cruise ships making -- a. 1-50 calls per year to get 10% rebate, b. 51-100 calls per year to get 20% rebate and c. above 100 calls per year to get 30% rebate.

The above-rationalized tariff shall be immediately effective for a period of one year.

With a view to providing support to the cruise shipping business, which has been very adversely affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the right policy environment and infrastructure for the growth of cruise shipping and tourism will be provided. Due to policy support by the Shipping Ministry since 2014, the number of call made by Cruise Ships in India has increased from 128 in 2015-16 to 593 in 2019-20. This rationalization would also help to ensure that cruise calls at Indian Ports do not dry up completely.

Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of State for Shipping (I/C) said the decision is the result of the efforts being made by the Ministry of Shipping to convert the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi into reality by putting India on the map of global cruise market,both for ocean & river cruises.

“It will be a big support for the cruise tourism in India, which has suffered tremendously due to the adverse economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic. It will provide the opportunity to earn huge amount of foreign exchange and generate sizeable direct and indirect onshore employment in cruise tourism sector of India”, the Minister added.

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