CHENNAI: The Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has issued a fresh notification allowing Chennai Port to import apples bringing much relief to the Chennai Port. The ban to import apples through Chennai Port was imposed by the Union Commerce Ministry on September 14, 2015 in order to protect the domestic trade of apples.
The lifting of the ban now means that apples imported in refrigerated containers from countries like US, Australia and Fiji Island, can now be directly brought to the Chennai Port instead of taking it to Nhava Sheva port in Mumbai.
The ban affected the revenue of Chennai Port. “Usually, we import around 6,000 containers of apples. The lost business is now back,” Chennai Port deputy chairman Cyril George said.
However, George was non-committal in giving details as to when the first consignment of imported apples would reach Chennai.
Chozha Naachiar Rajasekar, president of Tamil Chamber of Commerce, who had campaigned, along with other importers, to lift the ban on Chennai Port thanked Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Seetharaman for taking immediate action and issuing fresh notification for allowing the import of apples.
“ We had been oppsoing the ban. During a meeting in New Delhi last month, we urged Commerce Minister Nirmala Seetharaman to allow Chennai Port to import apples through a fresh DGFT notification without which there would be a huge loss to Chennai Port besides customs price escalation for logistics and trade,” said Rajasekhar.