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Decongestion of MICP, Port of Manila now ongoing – BOC

Monday, 28 January 2019 | 00:00

Port operators have begun shipping out empty containers clogging the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and the Port of Manila (POM), Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero disclosed.

Guerrero, a former military chief, said the Asian Terminals Incorporated (ATI), which operates POM, has already transferred empty containers from Manila to Batangas Port last January 14.

The shipping lines are also set to send their sweeper vessels to move out empty containers to the Ports of Batangas and Subic to free up space at the two Manila ports.

With these, the BOC chief said the cargo utilization would drastically go down at the POM and MICP.

Guerrero met with the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) last Thursday in Manila to discuss port utilization and the return of empty containers as part of BOC’s efforts to enhance trade facilitation.

At their meeting, he said that container yard operators were amendable with the BOC requirement to lower and maintain their utilization rate at the Manila ports to 70 percent.

They also tackled modernization and advancement of Customs operational capabilities as well as the standardization of its policies and procedures, among others.

MICP district collector and lawyer Erastus Sandino Austria discussed the short term and medium term solutions to address the current high yard utilization in his port.

Yard utilization at the MICP, being operated by International Container Terminal Services Incorporated (ICTSI), stood at 85 percent.

This was 10 percent points lower than its previous high average of 95 to 97 percent, according to Austria.

The commissioner said the BOC has already submitted to the Department of Finance (DOF) for approval the draft Customs Administrative Order (CAO) that would impose additional duties and taxes to overstaying containers.

Guerrero also indicated their efforts to simplify the Customs requirements and procedures for accreditation of importers and customs brokers and expedite the process of renewal of their accreditation.

He cited a proposal to regionalize the Account Management Office that will make accreditation accessible and hassle-free to those stakeholders outside Metro Manila.
Source: Manila Bulletin

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