Kerala Maritime Board has taken all necessary measures to commence the shipping service and procured a ship from a private player to resume the cargo ship service from Vizhinjam port to Mali to encourage international shipping. However, the excessive delay in getting clearance from customs has put the process on the back foot. The board approached the customs in September 2021 but the agency has still not given any response to the request despite many reminders.
For Kerala Maritime Board, this project is of immense significance as it will help earn revenue of one million dollars each month. Previously the cargo services were available from the route till 2017, but later the private firm withdrew its support stating internal issues.
The reason that has come to be known by the board officials is the request of theirs is kept on hold by the customs officials stating that the port lacks an international ship and port security code (ISPS). However, the board members are very clear that ISPS is not at all mandatory for issuing consent for the shipping service as no rule says that as this line was active for 10 years previously and had a customs officer appointed. The board members are also officially saying that they have taken all measures to get the ISPS code for the port and it will be good if customs clearance is provided for the Vizhinjam port to Mali for regular business.