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DTI supports DOTr initiatives to address high shipping charges

By Richa Noriega

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) supported on Monday the initiatives taken by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to address complaints against unreasonable shipping charges.

The department made the statement after DOTr’s issuance of multiple department orders to bring down the cost of shipping and provide solutions to complaints against shipping lines.

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez (ALBERT ALCAIN/PPD / MANILA BULLETIN)

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez

“The creation of such an office is very important as importers, exporters, forwarders, and brokers will now have a venue to ventilate complaints against shipping lines charging exorbitant and unreasonable fees,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said.

“The intervention of DOTr in addressing this issue could not have come at a better time, considering that this has been a recurring problem for shippers, which affects the general cost of goods and has further aggravated the economic difficulties that all businesses have been experiencing due to the pandemic,” he added.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade has issued Department Order 2020-009 prescribing a minimum free time period of eight days for cargoes unloaded by international shipping lines.

The eight-day period extends the period of five days currently granted by shipping lines before collecting demurrage charges on containers. “This again is a very welcome intervention in lowering the overall charges applied to shippers and consignees,” DTI said.

“The longer free time of minimum of eight days prescribed under DO 2020-009 is expected to minimize, if not eliminate, demurrage charges to be incurred by consignees on imported products,” Lopez said.

He said importers that are able to release their shipments within eight days no longer have to pay demurrage charges.

“These initiatives are expected to help stabilize prices of many basic commodities, which will ultimately redound to the benefit of Filipino consumers. Secretary Tugade deserves to be commended for taking concrete actions to resolve the issue of high shipping costs,” Lopez added.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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