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India's shippers feel the pinch as perishable exports are hit by freight tax

Perishables shippers in India have begun to feel the pinch from the additional Goods and Services Tax (GST) that became applicable on freight charges from 1 October.  Some trade groups, representing reefer shippers, have threatened to suspend exports, saying freight charges are “unaffordable” as a consequence of this tax: 18% on air freight costs; and 5% on ocean. 

The All Kerala Vegetable and Fruits Exporters’ Association, a southern Indian body, has urged members to halt exports from today to exert more pressure on the government to return GST relief, which had existed by way of ad-hoc exemptions since 2017.

The source said domestic reefer exporters were now unable to compete with their counterparts from other low-cost countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. 


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