We have moved to new location, Please click on contact us  
Home  >  TopNews
you can get e-magazine links on WhatsApp. Click here
Export & Import + Font Resize -

Drug industry heaves sigh of relief as customs dept clears all consignments from China lying at ports and airports

Laxmi Yadav, Mumbai
Thursday, July 2, 2020, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Drug makers have heaved a sigh of relief as all consignments from China lying at ports and airports for customs clearance have been cleared by the customs department.

Imported Chinese consignments containing key starting materials (KSMs), drug intermediates and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), COVID related medical devices as well as diagnostics among others which were stuck at ports and airports particularly Nhava Sheva Port, Mumbai and Delhi airports over last few days have been cleared by customs authorities. Things started moving by Tuesday evening.

Confirming this, Viranchi Shah, senior national vice president, Indian Drugs Manufacturers' Association (IDMA) said, "Import activities at ports and airports have returned to normalcy. Hardly any consignment is lying with customs authorities. None of our members have complained that their consignments are lying at ports and airports for want of clearance from customs authorities so far."

The imported Chinese consignments got stuck at ports and airports following unofficial orders at customs commissionerates across the country to withhold China-origin consignments for a thorough inspection amid ongoing India-China border faceoff.

The move was reciprocated by China. Indian exporters are facing delayed shipments at Chinese ports.

Taking serious note of this, Pharmaceuticals Export Promotion Council of India (Pharmexcil) has appealed to the government to expedite clearance of imported KSMs, drug intermediates and APIs, COVID related medical devices as well as diagnostics from China held up by customs authorities at Nhava Sheva Port, Mumbai and Delhi airports.

“The commerce ministry and drugs controller general of India (DCGI) have proactively intervened in the issue following Pharmexcil’s appeal and thrillers have been sent to the finance ministry. Supplies have resumed after we reached out to the finance ministry. Custom has started clearing consignments and we are hoping things will soon normalise,” said Dinesh Dua, chairman of Pharmexcil.

The industry body had on June 27, 2020 sent SOS to commerce ministry, Prime Minister Office (PMO), finance ministry, external affairs ministry, cabinet secretary, directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT), department of pharmaceuticals, health and family welfare ministry on delayed shipments clearance coming from China.

It urged them to intervene to ensure clearance of Chinese consignments stuck at ports and airports at the earliest.

Chinese origin consignments were held up by customs authorities since June 22, 2020 for inspection giving sleepless nights to the drug companies as they were spending about Rs 3.5 lakh a day in demurrage charges.

India is 70% dependent on China for supply of pharmaceutical raw materials. In 2019, China exported 10.12 million tonne of APIs to India, up 8.83 per cent year-on-year, data from the China Chamber of Commerce showed. India's bulk drug import reached a value of Rs 249 billion in 2019.

Pharmexcil has been inundated with distress calls from a lot of member companies that there has been an acute disruption in manufacturing of pharmaceutical products over a week. Very critical KSMs, drug intermediates and APIs are not being cleared by customs authorities for reasons not known to the industry at all.  Even in the case of medical devices and diagnostics critical devices such as infrared thermometers and pulse oximeters which are specifically aimed at COVID diagnosis as also glucometers and strips are also held up at Nhava Sheva Port, Mumbai and Delhi airports, said Pharmexcil chairman.

India’s self-reliant mission i.e. “Atam Nirbharta” will take its own time in a phased and considered manner for which the government articulated and presented great incentives such as Pharma Parks” as well as “Production Linked Incentives (PLI s)”, he said.

In the meanwhile, during current distressed and challenging times of global COVID-19 pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry has risen to meet with the challenge and continued to ensure that there is no shortage of any drug anywhere in the country as stated by the government, he stated.

Export grew by 27% in May 2020 over 2019 surpassing USD 2 billion, India has been acknowledged as ‘Pharmacy to the World’ as well as a very humane, generous country supplying critical COVID related medicines to 100+ countries “free of cost (FOC)” through the kind intervention of PMO, ministry of commerce, ministry of external affairs etc. thereby earning a great goodwill for the country globally, said Dua.

The recent disruption in import, if continued could affect activities of drug manufacturing units, particularly API units and dent country’s image, he said.


* Name :     
* Email :    
  Website :  
India Lab Expo
Copyright © 2016 Saffron Media Pvt. Ltd |