Local news:

The latest Annual General Meeting of APT

The Professional Association of Freight Forwarders (‘Association Professionnelle des Transitaires’) held its Annual General Meeting on the 23rd March 2017, in the presence of the director of Customs, Vivekanand Ramburun, at the headquarters of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The President of APT, Gupta Gopaul called for closer cooperation between the members of the association and the customs services to achieve a highly transparent working environment.

He added that APT acts as a facilitator of international trade and plays a critical role in the transportation and clearance of goods not only for the business community but also for individuals.

He expressed his thanks to the Ministry of Finance and the Director of customs for the due consideration they gave to APT’s request to bring amendments to section 119A of the Customs Act 1989 and to section 19 of Customs regulations Act, exercising a better control.

In his speech, he expressed his deep satisfaction for the measures taken to improve cross-border trade, especially the initiatives aimed at reducing the time frame for customs clearance.

The President of APT made an appeal for the support of all the stakeholders involved in the supply chain (customs, Mauritius Network Services, Mauritius Cargo Community Services) in exchanging and validating information and documents.

Gupta Gopaul also pointed out that the freight forwarders belonging to the association, are investing in new technological infrastructure and human resources to prepare themselves for the introduction of the forthcoming the single window application.

This online platform which was launched in January 2016, already links freight forwarders with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Consumer Protection as well as the Mauritius Standards Bureau.

The Ministry of Fisheries will integrate the platform next May and will be followed by the Ministry of Agribusiness and the Food Import Unit of the Ministry of Health.

Posted by: Editor on Wednesday, 5th Apr 2017

DP Worlds ambitious projects for Port Louis

DP World, the company from Dubai which manages 77 operating marine and inland terminals in 40 countries across the world, has submitted its proposals to the Government of Mauritius.

DP Worlds project consists of 3 main elements. First of all, the international terminal operator, plans, if its proposals are retained, to develop and manage the marketing activities of a state-of-the-art Special Economic Zone (SEZ) which will cover a surface area of 325 acres in Riche Terre.

DP World will enter in a joint venture with the Government of Mauritius for a 99-year lease, based on the model of Jebel Ali Free Zone.

The initial investment is estimated at US $ 23 million that will be spanned over the first six years for the construction of industrial and business units, office premises

Afterwards, during the second phase of the SEZ development, US $37 million will be invested.

DP World hopes to attract US $ 450 million of foreign direct investment through this Special Economic Zone.

The second aspect of DP Worlds proposals, concerns a 40% shareholding in the Cargo Handling Corporation Ltd together with a Management Agreement that would empower DP World to be responsible for the management of the port operations for a period of 30 years.

DP World has expressed its intention to invest in the initial stage, US $ 25 million in the Mauritius Container Terminal so as to improve its IT infrastructure and acquire additional container handling equipment with the objective of increasing its performance as well as its handling capacity to 1.3 million TEUs per year.

Last but not least, the third element of DP Worlds proposals, focuses on an investment of US $ 500 million to develop an Island Terminal by year 2030, when it expects the container traffic will exceed 1.3 million TEUs.

Posted by: Editor on Friday, 20th May 2016

The latest AGM

The latest AGM of the Association Professionnelle des Transitaires (APT)

The latest AGM of the Association Professionnelle des Transitaires (APT) was held on the 22nd March 2016 at the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry in the presence of Mr Sudhamo Lal, Director General of the Mauritius Revenue Authority, Mr Raju Jaddoo, Secretary General of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Vivekanand Ramburun, Director of Customs, as well as representatives of the member companies of the association.

In his speech, the outgoing president of APT, Mr Gupta Gopaul stated that the core business of freight forwarders has evolved over the years, extending the range of services to match market demands.

He stressed the critical importance of freight forwarders in the transportation of goods from one country to another with a door to door service while adhering to stringent deadlines.

However, he expressed his deep concern about certain operators outside our association, who harm the image of the logistics industry by not providing the minimum standards, who also mislead customers and violate regulations.

He added that existing regulations and requirements for issuing new Freight Forwarder Licences should be reviewed to ascertain minimum standards.

Mr Gupta Gopaul pointed out the willingness of APT to work closely with the authorities to establish a monitoring system to ensure full compliance of freight forwarders to rules and regulations.

He welcomed the appointment of Mr V. Ramburun as Director of MRA Customs with whom the association has already had a first meeting to discuss how to minimise dwell time for clearance of goods and reduce the costs of doing business. The recommendations focusing amongst others, on a revision of the rates of extra charges for customs request and customs amendment fees, will be submitted to the Ministry of Finance for consideration in the next budget.

Mr Gupta Gopaul raised the issue of the new SOLAS -Safety of life at sea convention of the International Maritime Organisation which he described as a threatening barrier to international trade that will be implemented on the 1st July of this year.

He pointed out that container terminals are the most practical places to weigh containers and appealed to the Mauritius Ports Authority and the Cargo Handling Corporation to consider this option by including weigh bridges in the new port project.

On his part, the Director General of the Mauritius Revenue Authority, Mr Sudhamo Lal, talked about the efforts of his organisation to promote transparency and predictability.

He highlighted that 32% of customs declarations are cleared within thirty minutes and announced that customs officers would be connected through iPads to CMCS (Customs management and Clearance System) to accelerate processes and the arrival in the near future of a mobile scanner.

Mr Sudhamo Lal expressed his satisfaction that several issues raised by APT have been addressed by MRA through a consultation process and invited the association to contribute in improving the ranking of Mauritius in World Banks Ease of Doing Business.

Finally, Mr Raju Jaddoo, Secretary General of the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that the Single Window project when completed, will lead to greater transparency.

Posted by: Editor on Thursday, 24th Mar 2016