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Ports authority issues guidelines on transfer of overstaying cargoes

Thursday, 11 April 2019 | 00:00

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has laid down the procedures for the transfer of overstaying cargoes, inclu­ding their sale in case of abandonment, to bring efficiencies in port services that would benefit the entire supply chain.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago issued Administrative Order (AO) 02-2019 or the “Guidelines on the immediate transfer of overstaying import cargoes from terminals to designated ports,” which took effect on April 5.

“PPA takes action to expeditiously address high import dwell time promote optimal terminal efficiency in managing increased trade and demand for cargo clearance facilitation at Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and South Harbor and cause the immediate accelerated transfer of all import cargoes already cleared for delivery or withdrawal from the terminals container yards to their proper designated ports,” Santiago said.

PPA has resolved the issues on overstaying cargoes and empty containers for better turn-around time, thus reducing the cargo dwell time in the ports. It said that port services should be efficient and expeditious in handling ships to reduce their stay time in port.

Government agencies and stakeholders have collaborated to advance the overall interests of all sectors, in order to serve the “common good” to make the port and shipping industry more competitive.

PPA has authorized terminal operators, International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) and, Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) to maxi­mize the terminals operating efficiency by undertaking operational and strategic measures to increase competitiveness of the country’s premier international gateways.

By doing so, it will reduce ship’s waiting time to berth and prevent the unwarranted wasteful utilization of the terminal yard space as permanent dumping ground for abandoned and seized cargo imports stored for indefinitely long period of time by traders and importers.

The order would apply to all imported good whether containerized or not and which remain within the premises of the MICT, South Harbor and their designated ports beyond the prescribed free storage period (FSP) and were already cleared by government agencies concerned.

The order would apply to all cleared import cargoes by PPA and by other government agencies such as the Bureau of Customs (BoC), which remained inside the port for more than 30 days from discharge.

PPA said an import cargo is transferred to a designated port when import cargo is discharged at MICT or SH with a release via online release system (OLRS) and when the import cargo incurred a dwell time of up to 30 days. The transfer arrangement would be secured by a bond to cover the terminal operator’s liability.

In case of abandoned cargo, the PPA reserved the right to sell for accrued charges any cargo or equipment which was abandoned by shippers, consignees, owners or agents after notice has been delivered to interested parties.

“If no response was received within 10 days, the Authority has the right to sell the cargo or equipment for accrued charges and all costs and expenses of selling or appropriately disposing of the property less any sales proceeds received by the Authority should it exercise its discretion to sell the property. Abandonment of cargo deemed hazardous under existing laws, rules or regulations is forbidden,” the AO read.

Terminal operators can collect from cargo owners, importers or consignee or from agents and brokers the applicable transfer costs, terminal fees and other charges.

The government agencies and various port stakeholders, including ICTSI, ATI and international shipping lines signed a Manifesto of Support on March 15 for the efficient utilization of Manila ports.

Stakeholders were asked to immediately retrieve the overstaying and empty container to designated ports and off-dock depots.

Christian R. Gonzalez, ICTSI global corporate head hailed collaborative and complementing efforts of PPA, the Department of Transportation (DoTr), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the BoC to resolve the issue of overstaying cargo at Manila ports, and ensuring their swift disposition.

Even before the manifesto was signed, ICTSI took the lead along with Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL), Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations and Container Depot Alliance of the Philippines to undertake immediate measures in alleviating problems connected with returning empty containers.

MICT realizes 70% yard utilization

ON Monday, the MICT hit the ideal yard utilization rate, almost a month after the government imposed heightened crackdown versus overstaying cargoes.
ICTSI said yard utilization fell by 20 percent to 70 percent this April against the recorded 90 percent in January.

“The healthy yard utilization happened despite higher volume handled, especially in March where MICT handled a record monthly volume,” it said in the statement.

“The terminal was able to accept almost double the number of empty containers it was receiving, freeing up trucks in the process which, in turn, resulted to more import pull outs. Shipping lines have now been able to bridge the gap in achieving their weekly empty container evacuation targets,” the company added.

Import dwell time has also been cut from 11 days in January to 6 days this month, resulting in zero ship queues compared to December’s peak season.

In March, PPA and DOTr revealed a boosted crackdown against overstaying cargoes through a the signing of the manifesto of support for the government’s efforts on the efficient utilization of the country’s ports.

PPA General Manager Jay Daniel Santiago said the agency ordered to free up the spaces in the South Harbor and MICT occupied by customs-cleared cargoes.

The manifesto, which was signed by the DOTr, PPA, BoC and officials from ICTSI, ATI and AISL, stated that once the cargo owners and shippers failed to comply with the order, the overstaying cargoes would be shipped out to a different inland container depot.

Port operators ICTSI and ATI were assigned for the move out of the cargoes, the manifesto read. The costs of the transfer would be shouldered by cargo owners, shippers, consignees, logistics operators, and custom brokers, it added.

“The BoC shall regularly dispose of seized or abandoned containers to ensure that MICT and SH remain healthy,” it also said.
Source: Manila Times

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