Even though the electronic data interchange system of the customs department at Vallarpadam Transhipment Terminal, Kochi, has again met with a glitch, the exporters in Kerala seem to be not much affected.
It has not made a difference to several major products including seafood, rubber, coir and spices, according to the respective exporting company officials, though the reason for this vary from one company to the other.
It is the second time this month, the online data entry system which deals with filing of the shipping bills of the containers engaged in export and the bill of entry of the containers involved in import, stopped working. The IT department officials at the Vallarpadam container terminal declined to comment on the issue. It is informed that the system got damaged on Wednesday afternoon and has not been rectified yet. A couple of weeks ago, the system had stopped working for several days together.
The seafood exporters in the State, who are supposed to avail of the service at the terminal, seem to be at the safe zone. “Yes we use the Vallarpadam container terminal for exporting products. But we are not much affected,” said Nitin Shankar, an official from ABN Trades.
It is also informed that some of the exporters based in Kerala are not at the suffering end as the bill clearance is not done by the customs directly. Shiyaz, an employee at Aqua Star Marine Exports, said the system that they use for data entry is not that of the customs. “Mainly the traders from outside the State are hit because of the damage of online system of the customs as they are the ones who make use of this facility,” he said.
The coir industry as well as the rubber industry in the State are also not much affected because of the failure of the system. Many of the exporters in these sectors have not exported anything in the last two days. This could be another reason for these exporters to be unworried or oblivious to the issue. Most of the exporters in Kerala have stalled exporting activities these days prior to the holidays in connection with Eid and Onam.
Impact on markets
Meanwhile, it is informed that the markets of electronic and home appliances are bearing the brunt as the equipment are high in demand in the State during the festive seasons. The clearance of these equipment arriving at the container terminal is pending owing to the system failure.
When asked how long it would take for the department to rectify the issue, the officials at the IT department of the container terminal said that they were not allowed to pass official information.