Manila International Container Terminal operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) and South Harbor operator Asian Terminals, Inc. (ATI) have both agreed to a deposit scheme with PISFA members.
In a phone interview with PortCalls, PISFA vice president for external affairs and committee chair for special projects Erich Lingad said payments may now be debited from the forwarders’ deposit accounts.
The scheme, he explained, saves forwarders time and money. For one, forwarders will no longer queue up at banks. Since most ships arrive on weekends, forwarders often rush to pay for the port charges. There have been cases when payment could not be made because of offline banks during weekends, Lingad said.
The scheme also does away with the additional cost for manager’s check (P50-P80 per check depending on the bank), and the need to bring sizeable amount of cash when paying.
The fund can cover arrastre/wharfage, storage, DCA fee, weighing fee, amendment fee, stripping/stuffing charges, Bureau of Customs (BOC) examination, reefer charges, other miscellaneous charges, equipment rental, extra labor services, personnel services, vessel/stevedoring charges, and other special services and special on-board charges.
It may also cover charges payable to the Philippine Ports Authority (wharfage) as a special transitory consideration.
BOC duties and taxes are not covered by the fund.
Lingad advised freight forwarders to monitor their transactions to avoid shortage of funds.
In case the fund is depleted, customers will be considered non-credit or cash clients and their succeeding transactions should be paid for in cash.
Use of the fund is applicable from Mondays to Fridays, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Saturday transactions will only be allowed provided there is sufficient balance that can cover the charges. Promissory notes can also be used as payment.
Lingad said an official receipt and a summary of transactions will be provided by both ports for transactions.
Forwarders need to first secure an endorsement from PISFA before they can avail of the scheme.
PISFA members are required to provide a list of representatives, renewable every six months or when there are additions or deletions to the list.
ICTSI’s “Apply Deposit Receipt” scheme introduced years ago will remain in effect alongside the scheme for PISFA members, Lingad said.
ATI will also implement its “Revolving Fund Facility (REF)” and “E-payment” schemes. ATI customers need to provide a letter of request to avail of the REF, according to mechanics of the facility.
Customers will have to provide a written advice within 48 hours for every shipment that will cause, inform and authorize ATI to process delivery or release of the particular shipment and to deduct the applicable ATI charges from the REF. ––Roumina M.Pablo
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