Philippine importers and customs brokers may now pay equipment insurance to shipping lines electronically through a newly added feature in the Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) GoFast system.
An online reservation for empty-container returns to depots, GoFast interconnects stakeholders directly involved in the activity, including shipping lines, truckers, customs brokers, and depots. GoFast transactions currently only cover shipments of participating shipping lines that go through Manila South Harbor and the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT).
In a letter addressed to importers and customs brokers, the AISL announced that equipment insurance may now be settled through the system.
Cargo Data Exchange Center (CDEC), which specializes in technology solutions for the trade, transport, and logistics sectors, was tapped to develop and implement GoFast.
AISL general manager Atty. Maximino Cruz, in a text message to PortCalls, said: “Payment online will eliminate the long queues and make the procedure more efficient. This is an initial step taken by AISL to automate all processes.”
In order to pay for equipment insurance, customs brokers or representatives currently have to make a trip to AISL offices in South Harbor and MICT.
Importers and customs brokers transacting at MICT also need not go to shipping line terminal offices to secure the webCRO (container release order) as the AISL GoFast system is already linked to the system of MICT operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
The online payment for equipment insurance is initially available for shipping lines already connected to GoFast. At the moment, not all AISL members are linked to the system while some are still in the process of implementing it.
Shipping lines will individually inform their clients once they are onboard GoFast, CDEC chief executive officer Leo Morada told PortCalls. Importers and customs brokers may also contact their shipping lines to check for updates.
To use the online payment, importers and customs brokers must secure GoFast account credentials, top up to fund the prepaid account, and print the AISL equipment insurance certificate. Clients may contact CDEC for support and training on how to use the system.
Morada clarified that AISL GoFast is not a value-added service provider system and its use is open to all customs brokers and their importers. – Roumina Pablo
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