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Pharmexcil asks industry for details of levied demurrage charges

Reportedly, demurrage charges of approximately Rs 3 crores have been imposed on the pharma sector  

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The Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council (Pharmexcil) has asked the pharma industry in India to provide details of demurrage charges imposed by the Customs officials for the period of delay in clearance.

Reportedly, demurrage charges of approximately Rs 3 crores have been imposed on the pharma sector, and the industry claims that it is for no fault of theirs.

Apparently, two firms from North India, Mankind Pharma and Nectar Lifesciences, combined have paid Rs one crore as demurrages. Other pharma companies from across the country are in the process of compiling the final charges.

Dr Dinesh Dua, Chairman, Pharmexcil and  Director, Nectar Lifesciences informed, “Due to delay in customs clearance of China-origin products, the pharma industry in India has to pay heavy demurrage charges, which is a substantial financial setback to the industry. Especially during the ongoing pandemic crisis, and knowing the fact that it wasn’t the industry’s fault. However, we (Pharmexcil) have decided to discuss this issue with the government authorities. In fact, we have initiated a conversation with the Ministry of Commerce.”

He added, “Therefore, we urge to the pharma industry, irrespective of whether they are a member of Pharmexcil or not, to share the details of imposed demurrage charges by the customs officials for the period of delay in clearance from their end, so that we can make a representation to the higher authorities.”

“Informally, I have already communicated about this development through several WhatsApp groups. Till now we haven’t received any formal communication from any pharma companies. If the industry is serious about the matter, then Pharmexcil can find a way. However, the industry too has to come forward and share the details,” he added.

M Madan Mohan Reddy, Director, Aurobindo Pharma, said, “We have been imposed demurrage charges of approximately Rs 10 lakhs for our different consignments at different ports. We are gathering the data and will soon submit it to Pharmexcil.”

Dua also stated that 100 per cent checks to ascertain quality is a good move since no compromise can be made on this front at any cost.

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