Importers told: Claim overstaying cargoes in Manila by Sept 8

Mick Basa

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Importers told: Claim overstaying cargoes in Manila by Sept 8
Or else, the government says it will move these to other locations

MANILA, Philippines – Importers and brokers were given until Monday, September 8, to claim their overstaying customs-cleared cargoes at the Manila ports.

Or else, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said it would transfer unclaimed containers to the Subic and Batangas ports, or to other location identified by state officials tasked to help decongest Manila’s ports.

PPA General Manager Juan Sta. Ana said the forced eviction of containers should they fail to comply with the deadline “is not to punish our importers but only to clear as much space as possible in preparation for the influx of cargoes due to the peak season, and reduce pressure on inflation.”

Sta. Ana said a significant number of these cargoes have been cleared of Customs duties, but not of cargo-handling fees. Some have been cleared of both duties and cargo-handling fees “but remain stored at the ports for one reason or another.”

The ongoing decongesting of the Manila ports is meant to mitigate the onset of peak cargo season starting September.

Last week, chartered vessel MV Asterix moved 1,154 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) to the Subic Port.

The sweeper vessel has been chartered by the International Container Terminal Services. (ICTSI), one of the private port operators in Manila.

As an incentive, port fee for the vessel was reduced from $0.081 per GRT per call to $1 per call. The dockage-at-berth-fee was also cut to $1 per vessel from $0.039 per GRT per calendar day or fraction thereof.

The incentive is one of the measures Malacañang has put in place to lure importers to use the Subic and Batangas ports as alternative to the Manila ports.

The PPA has also increased storage fees at the Manila ports so importers would remove their cargoes immediately “instead of leaving it inside and use the ports as virtual warehouses.”

Congestion at the Manila ports was partly blamed for the second straight month of decline in the country’s imports in June.

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed imports fell 3.6% in June to $4.715 billion from P4.889 billion in the same month of 2013. In May, imports fell by 4%. –


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