NEW DELHI 19/NOV/2014: A Committee was set up by the Ministry of Shipping, based on the recommendation to review the extant guidelines on priority berthing to coastal vessels, the following guidelines on according priority berthing to coastal vessels have been issued for compliance by Major Ports: A \"coastal vessel\" shall mean any vessel exclusively employed in trading between any port or place in India to any other port or place in India having a valid coastal licence issued by the Director-General of Shipping/competent authority. In addition, TAMP, in a notification, has prescribed the following conditions under which other foreign going vessels will be treated as coastal vessels: (a) A foreign going vessel of Indian flag having a General Trading Licence can convert to coastal run on the basis of a Customs Conversion Order. (b) A foreign going vessel of foreign flag can convert to coastal run on the basis of a Coastal Voyage Licence issued by the Director-General of Shippi
All Major Ports shall accord priority berthing through specific window to coastal container vessels keeping in view the concession agreements and existing allotment of window berthing at the private terminals and availability of container berths operated by the ports. In respect of POL/liquid cargo tankers, existing practices regarding such priorities as prevalent in various ports may continue. Coastal vessels which are being accorded priority berthing shall not be liable to pay priority berthing charges. There will be no restrictions on berthing of coastal vessel, in addition to the coastal vessel berthed on priority as above, if the same is eligible under normal berthing policy of the Port. A coastal vessel shall be liable to pay port charges on coastal rates notwithstanding whether it was berthed on priority or otherwise. Ports should explore the possibilities of earmarking exclusive berths, storage areas and gates for coastal cargo outside the Custom bonded area to further facilitate movement of coastal cargoes.
Major Ports shall clearly work out the time limit within which a coastal vessel would be berthed in a particular port. This time limit may differ depending on the c argo and berth. Each Major Port should carry out a detailed exercise and issue a trade notice clearly indicating the upper time limit within which a coastal vessel would be given a berth in the port. As regards priority berthing through a specific window to coastal container vessels, Major Ports should have a detailed discussion with the PPP operator and publish the specific window for coastal container vessels. All Major Ports shall incorporate and notify the provisions for priority berthing in these guidelines in their respective Berthing Policy and Scale of Rates. The MIS in the Port should capture data for coastal and foreign vessels/cargoes separately. The data so captured shall be monitored and reported internally in the Port as well as to IPA and Ministry in separate format for coastal and foreign vessels. These guidelines are issued in supersession of all other guidelines issued earlier on the subject and shall be complied with by all Major Ports, according to the Ministry of Shipping.