Intra-Asia Discussion Agreement (Iada) members have informed consignees that the terminal-handling charge (THC) for vessels arriving in Hong Kong from Japan will be increased from August 1. The THC for a 20-foot dry-cargo container will go to HK$1,800 from HK$1,500, and the THC for a 40 ft container will rise to HK$2,650, from HK$2,400. Similarly, the HK$1,950 THC for refrigerated 20 ft container cargo will rise to HK$2,340 while the THC for a 40 ft container will rise to HK$3,445 from HK$3,120. The increases follow revision of the Japan-Hong Kong & Japan-Straits agreements. Hong Kong Shippers Council director Clement Yeung said the council, which had complained to the Government about the increases, would meet Secretary for Economic Services Stephen Ip soon to discuss the issue. Separately, the South Asia Rate Agreement (Sara) has announced a US$100-per-teu Far East-Chennai (Madras) and Chennai congestion surcharge resulting from severe vessel delays in Chennai port to lines operating between the Far East and South Asia, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh regions. The surcharge will begin on westbound imports from June 22 and eastbound exports from July 1. Sara includes APL, Maersk, Mitsui, NYK, P&O Nedlloyd, Pakistan National Shipping Corp, Sea-Land and United Arab Shipping Co.