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Venezuelan importers change destination of their cargo

Some Venezuelan importers have requested shipping companies not to take goods to Venezuelan ports

The Venezuelan government's move to cut prices of goods has caused discomfort among importers (File photo)
EL UNIVERSAL
Saturday November 23, 2013  12:00 AM
Importers of appliances are frightened, and some of them have ordered shipping companies to divert their cargos -that were originally to be shipped to Venezuela- to other destinations. 

Representatives of logistics companies confirmed such reports. "We are receiving several requests for change of destination from some importers," remarked a top executive of one of the shipping companies that usually operates in Venezuela.

"Change of destination (COD)" in maritime transport is a regular operation in international trade; however, in this case, shipping companies highlighted that Venezuelan importers are reacting to the government's recent move to cut prices in appliances stores. "It is a perfectly legal operation in maritime transport, as customer can decide where goods are to be shipped to," the source highlighted.

The source explained that importers, knowing the itinerary of each shipping company, have ordered the logistic company to ship their freight to other ports other than Venezuelan ports.

Another executive officer of a major shipping company confirmed they have received COD requests from importers. He also asserted that they have also received cancelations of freight booking at the ports of origin.

"We have got booking cancelations at the docks of origin. This really worries us," the source remarked.

A customs agent at the Puerto Cabello dock, located in Carabobo state, north central Venezuela, reported that none of his clients has cancelled shipments to Venezuela. However, he reckoned that some companies might cancel their shipments due to uncertainty among traders.

"An importer of appliances is very likely to stop his shipment if he has the chance," the agent asserted.

In addition, the customs agent reported that government agencies have been requesting information about the warehouses at Puerto Cabello dock that might contain appliances. "That is unusual, because such information is handled by state-run company Bolivariana de Puertos (Bolipuertos)."

Last week, President Nicolás Maduro ordered the takeover of appliances store Daka, and a price reduction of its products. The measure spread to other appliances stores throughout Venezuela.

rdeniz@eluniversal.com

Translated by Andreína Trujillo
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