The Bureau of Customs (BOC) said it would have operations on Saturdays and Sundays at the Port of Manila and the Manila International Container Terminal to help relieve these facilities of the cargo congestion caused by the city truck ban and major road repair works that had slowed freight deliveries.
The weekend operations started June 28 and would last until further notice, the BOC said in a statement. On weekends, brokers and importers may file import entries, have their importation assessed, and secure clearance for the release of the cargo from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Personnel from the bureau’s Import Assessment Services will likewise be on weekend duty and additional examiners will be deployed along with stand-by personnel from X-Ray inspection unit to expedite the release of cargo with paid customs duties and taxes.
District collectors will also be working with private port operators Asian Terminals Inc. and International Container Terminal Services Inc. to identify consignees that have shipments that have been cleared for release by the BOC but still remain inside the ports.
These freight containers unnecessarily add to the congestion at the Manila ports, the agency added.
Businessmen and port operators attributed the congestion to the increased midyear port utilization and the cargo backlog caused by the truck ban imposed by the Manila city government and the various road works in the metropolis that have affected deliveries.
The Department of Finance on Friday said the bureau would also be imposing a 30-day limit for cargo to remain idle in one port, after which overstaying shipments would be confiscated. Jerome Aning
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