No compensation will be given by CPA for cargo damage


The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has recently announced that they will not be liable for any compensation claims made by port users who have suffered damages as a result of the heavy rainfall and severe floods in the port areas since 5th August.


The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) issued a notification last week as they anticipated prospective claims due to the heavy rainfall and flooding that occurred in the port areas since 5th August. As of Friday, the CPA has not received any claims yet. Businesses argue that the CPA should compensate for any damage caused to cargo due to keeping them in low-lying areas of the port yards. However, the authority has disclaimed, renounced, and disowned any claims to be made, citing the natural calamity as an ‘Act of God’. This applies to all users of the port, including consignees, importers, shippers, exporters, and shipping agents. Compensation claims for damages caused by incessant rain within the ‘Port Protected Area’ and other areas will not be accepted.

The CPA has stated that the recent natural calamity is considered an ‘Act of God’ and therefore the authority is not liable for any consequences under Regulation-199 (14) of the Regulations for Working of Chittagong Port (Cargo & Container), 2001. Additionally, any compensation claims under the Chittagong Port Authority Act, 2022 will not be considered. Currently, there are around 30,000 TEUs of containers at the port yards with 2,200 to 3,000 TEUs entering the port areas daily for outbound shipments.  Heavy rainfall in the Chittagong region may have affected the 19 privately owned inland container depots with a total capacity of 77,700 TEUs, but no compensation claims have been submitted yet to the port authority.

During a recent statement, Mahbubul Alam, the president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), expressed his disagreement with the stance taken by the CPA. According to Mr. Alam, there was no cyclone or devastating flood in August, aside from heavy rainfall. He believes that if any damage to cargo occurred, it may be due to the CPA’s mismanagement. Furthermore, Mr. Alam added that if the port authority keeps cargo or containers in low-lying areas and they get damaged, they must compensate for it. By referring to the reason for damages as an ‘Act of God’, they cannot avoid their responsibilities.

Picture and Article Sources: The Financial Express, Business Post

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