Abandoned cargo at dry ports confiscated
With a final 10-day deadline lapsing Wednesday, the Ethiopian Revenues and Customs Authority (ERCA) has started to confiscate 800 to 1,000 unclaimed cargo containers abandoned at dry ports, The Reporter has learnt.
Modjo Dry Port General Manager Addis Ayele said that only few cargo owners were able to act in a timely fashion while most others gave no valid reason for extension of the deadline.
Shortage of finance as well as issues with bill of lading have been cited as the major factors for abandoning cargo.
A bill of lading is a legal document between the shipper of goods and the carrier detailing the type, quantity and destination of the goods being carried. The bill of lading also serves as a receipt of shipment when the goods are delivered at a predetermined destination.
“For those who provided valid reasons as it relates to a bill of lading, it is understandable that the delay is not because of their failure,” he told The Reporter, adding that “but some of them sought extension for financial reasons, which we never accept at all.”
According to Addis, some 8,100 cargo containers currently remain unclaimed at dry ports, of which more than half would be auctioned off by ERCA soon.
Most of the cargo containers were imported by private entities while others belong to public enterprises.
ERCA would confiscate goods belonging to private firms while offering to negotiate with importers of public property.