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Plea for ease in port costs

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Plea for ease in port costs

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Minimise price increases to consumers by waiving Port storage costs to importers.

That’s what the Barbados Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) has proposed to Government in the wake of a major backlog of containers in the Bridgetown Port due to a slowdown in Customs operations.

The reduced pace in how Customs has been processing containers is reportedly due to staffing shortages caused by absenteeism as a result of chikungunya, and new regulations that permit only certain categories of staff to unstuff containers.

So severe was the backlog over the last few weeks that one importer, Andy Armstrong, marketing director of Armstrong Agencies Ltd, said at one point they had 20 containers waiting to be released as compared with the usual four or five.

He said yesterday that because of the problem, his business had paid out probably $15 000 more in storage taxes, while incurring about $60 000 in lost sales.

Please read the full story in today’s MIDWEEK NATION, or in the eNATION edition.