Home Apparel AIR CARGO BAN: German envoy says as most shipments go by sea

AIR CARGO BAN: German envoy says as most shipments go by sea

Bangladesh’s exports to Germany will not be affected due to the ban on direct cargo flights from Dhaka, as most of the shipments are made through seaways, Thomas Prinz, the German ambassador in Dhaka, said yesterday. “I do not think that the ban will affect garment exports as they are sent from Chittagong harbour by ships. But anyway, the problem needs to be solved very soon,” said Prinz. Germany imposed a ban on direct cargo flights from Dhaka upon information from law enforcement authority and intelligence services that consignments from Bangladesh pose a risk to aviation security. From now onwards, all cargo flights from Bangladesh bound for Germany must be rescreened at a third-country airport. Following the ban, Lufthansa, Germany’s national airline, left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Sunday without checking in scheduled $80 tonnes of goods. Almost all of them were garment items, exporters said. The ban comes only three months after the UK imposed a similar bar, and earlier in December last year, Australia did the same. “I cannot comment on the issue of ban. The decision was taken by the German Federal Aviation Authority and was purely on security ground,” Prinz said after a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith at the latter’s secretariat office in Dhaka. Lufthansa operates one flight a week from Bangladesh and carries garment items. No other airline has direct flights to Germany from Bangladesh.  A German delegation arrived in Dhaka yesterday to look into the matter and find a solution to the conundrum, Prinz said. Meanwhile, he assured Bangladesh that its trade with the EU will not be affected due to Britain’s decision to leave the economic union. “We have contracts between the EU and Bangladesh and they will not be affected when one member leaves the European Union.” “May be at the later point, when the UK is out of the EU, you will have to negotiate with them on how to access their markets. But at the moment this will not affect Bangladesh.”