Revision of guidelines in chartering ships to boost domestic shipping industry

By Anupama Vimal

Aimed at promoting ‘Make in India’ initiative and encouraging the shipping industry in the country, India has come up with revised guidelines for chartering ships by giving the Right of First Refusal (RoFR) for the ships built in the country. 

As per the guidelines, the ship built in the country will get the first priority in the tender process while chartering a ship. These ships would be given the priority to match the L1 quote, an official statement said. With this priority given to ships built in India, it is believed to give a boost to the shipping industry in the country with additional business support.    
Union Shipping Minister launched a policy in this regard in Mumbai during the Regional Maritime Safety conference.
Earlier, Right of First Refusal was reserved for Indian flag ships as per the provisions of Merchant Shipping Act of 1958. 
The official statement said that the guidelines have been revised as per the Government’s policy of promoting make in India. It also said that the revision of the guidelines would help in the long run in helping the domestic shipping industry and also in giving a fillip to the ship domestic building industry, which all would help in the overall economic growth of the country.   The Shipping Ministry has also come up with eligibility conditions and certain rules for exercising the RoFR. For the bidder who wants to exercise Right of First Refusal, his bidding should be within the Margin of Purchase Preference that is 20 per cent of the L1. RoFR will be exercised if the L1 bidder is a company registered outside the country or a foreigner, ship built outside the country and the bidder is an Indian citizen or a company or a society that is registered in India.

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