The state government has issued a notification marking the concessional tax rate on the sale of fuel and lubricants to foreign-bound vessels to be applicable to the the intermediary agents of the dealer as well.
With this, those who won the contract for the supply of bunkers from the main dealer will also get the benefit of tax concession.
Though the state government had announced the tax concession for bunkering in December 2010, it was applicable for the main dealer only. The Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd(BPCL) and the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) are the leading bunker suppliers at the Cochin Port.
The Cochin Port had witnessed a quantum leap in the volume of bunker sales, especially bunkers to foreign bound vessels, after the commencement of international bunkering activities consequent to the reduction of sales tax by the state government.
According to the Cochin Port Trust authorities, the new decision of the government would attract more entrepreneurs into the trade of bunkering.
“After the announcement of bunkering on the outer roads by the port with effect from October 2011, there has been a significant growth in the number of ‘bunker only’ vessel calls at the anchorage, substantiating the fact that Kochi has the potential to become a premier bunkering port given the geographical proximity to the Middle East to Far East shipping routes and the large volume of trade passing through the routes. The demand outlook is pretty robust with volumes
expected to touch 1,00,000 MT next year,” said Cochin Port Trust authorities.
“The bonded oil price in Kochi is highly competitive and is lower by around USD 30 to 40 per tonne in comparison to the immediate rival Colombo Port,” they said.