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Doha Port plans fines for delayed clearance

Small fines have encouraged importers to use port as 'warehouse'.
Doha Port is suffering from severe congestion. Courtesy of AFP/Getty.
Doha Port is suffering from severe congestion. Courtesy of AFP/Getty.

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The authorities at Doha Port are planning to reduce the grace period given to importers for clearing their goods from 21 days to 10, as well as increasing the resulting fines. The move is to prevent importers from using the port as a storage facility, thus resulting in a huge backlog of containers, port officials have indicated.

“We have proposed that the existing law regulating the port be replaced with a new one. We have actually prepared a draft of the proposed law and forwarded it to higher ups for review and approval,” said Captain Ahmed Al Maas, deputy general Manager of Customs and Ports General Authority, who was speaking to the Peninsula newspaper.

"In the draft, new penalty structures have been incorporated,” Al Maas added.

The previous structure was implemented to encourage imports, but the growth in container throughput has been such that even an expansion in the port’s facilities has not helped the problem.

An additional container terminal has just been built and another one is in the pipeline; the new Doha Port should be up and running by around 2015, Al Maas concluded. 

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