DG Shipping bans old foreign ships from India waters

Maritime regulator the Directorate General of Shipping has banned foreign cargo vessels over 25 years and gas carriers over 30 years from sailing on Indian waters because of rise in "casualties" during the monsoon season.

The immediate impact of this circular would be that the number of ships sailing on India waters would be less leading to spike in freight rates.

The move to ban older foreign vessels came after DG Shipping's analysis of accidents over the last three years showed a significant corelation between the age of vessels and break-downs, which cause these casualties, DG Shipping said in its circular.

In July 2007, Ministry of Shipping set up a Committee to suggest measures to reduce casualties. The Committee after making an analysis suggested the "revision of guidelines to restrict the age of vessels plying in Indian waters and a tighter regime of surveys and inspections".

The circular came into effect from May 15. The government has declared foul weather period between June 1 and August 31 in the Arabian Sea on the West Coast and between May 1 and November 30 in the Bay of Bengal on the East Coast.

The Directorate which issued the circular on April 25 did not specify whether Indian ships would be exempted.

However, it is understood that the domestic industry lobbied for getting itself exempted from the above. Now, it is exempted from the above age stipulation.

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