Bangalore: Local ship owners have been allowed to import spares and other parts used in repairing their ships without paying any duty, according to an announcement made by the finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Budget for 2011.
“The benefit of exemption currently available to ship repair units on imports of spares and consumables required for repair of ocean going vessels is being extended to such spares and consumables for repairs of ocean going vessels by owners of such vessels registered in India,” the Budget document said.
In the Budget for 2010, the government had changed the definition of exports, thereby pruning a benefit available to ship owners on import of spares and other gears required for repairs. According to the earlier definition, 10% of the export earnings of shipping companies could be used to meet the requirements on import of spares and other parts duty free.
“ Monday’s announcement will restore the benefit enjoyed by shipping companies till last year,” said a shipping company executive.
The announcement also means that a local ship owner need not go through a ship repair unit to import spares and parts.
“They will now be able to import these gears directly without paying duty,” said Anil Devli, chief executive officer of the Indian National Shipowners Association (INSA), a body representing local shipping firms. “ It will be more helpful for ships plying on domestic routes,” he added.
INSA has been lobbying for duty-free import of spares and other parts for 15 years.