ARTA open to review of PPA container registry system

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ARTA open to review of PPA container registry system
The Anti-Red Tape Authority said it will consider issues raised by stakeholders during the potential review of the Philippine Ports Authority regulatory impact statement on its policy on container registry and monitoring system. Photo from ARTA.
  • The Anti-Red Tape Authority is open to reviewing the Philippine Ports Authority regulatory impact statement on its container registry and monitoring system
  • The PPA faces a “potential review and re-evaluation” of its regulatory impact statement on AO 04-2021 
  • But this may only be conducted after PPA submits its written response to issues against Administrative Order No. 04-2021 raised during ARTA’s recent stakeholders’ consultation meeting
  • PPA has to submit a written response to such issues by July 5
  • ARTA called the meeting after various groups wrote the authority about alleged inaccuracies in PPA’s submitted RIS compared with the actual ground data

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) is open to reviewing the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) regulatory impact statement (RIS) on its container registry and monitoring system.

The PPA faces a “potential review and re-evaluation” of its RIS on the policy, ARTA said, following the submission of a written response to concerns on PPA Administrative Order (AO) No. 04-2021 that were raised during ARTA’s recent stakeholders’ consultation meeting.

ARTA gave PPA until July 5 to submit its response.

ARTA said it will consider issues raised by stakeholders during the potential review of the PPA RIS on AO 04-2021.

AO 04-2021 prescribes the policy of registering and monitoring foreign containers entering and leaving PPA ports. It requires foreign containers to register with PPA’s Trusted Operator Program-Container Registry and Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS) and to secure a container insurance policy.

Implementation of TOP-CRMS was deferred indefinitely by the PPA Board in January amid calls from various stakeholder groups to scrap the program.

ARTA said the consultation meeting was held after the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Alliance of Concerned Truck Owners and Organizations (ACTOO), and Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL), among other organizations, wrote ARTA about alleged inaccuracies in PPA’s submitted RIS compared with actual ground data.

ARTA received the initial RIS for AO 04-2021 in January 2023, with several revisions thereafter.

On March 3, ARTA sent to PPA the result of its evaluation of the agency’s RIS, which scored 36 out of 40–a “good practice” rating. This means the RIS has elements where analysis or the process were not of exceptional quality and could have been improved.

Submission of the RIS is in keeping with Section 5 of Republic Act 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, which mandates that all proposed regulations of covered government offices shall undergo an RIS to ensure these will not add undue burden and cost to stakeholders and to avoid overlapping of regulations.

ARTA RIS ratings are as follows: best practice, 40; good practice, 30-39; satisfactory RIS, 24-29; and insufficient RIS, 8-23.

The consultation meeting was attended by representatives from PPA, Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Customs, Maritime Industry Authority, Philippine Multimodal Transport and Logistics Association, United Portusers Confederation of the Philippines, Practicing Customs Broker Association of the Philippines Inc.; Philippine Liner Shipping Association, Pasig Port Users United, University of the Philippines Public Administration Research & Extension Services Foundation Inc.-Regulatory Reform Support Program for National Development, AISL, ACTOO, PCCI, and Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines.

PPA earlier said TOP-CRMS will address the long-standing issue on the return of container deposits imposed by foreign shipping lines, as well as manage the return of foreign empty containers.

Various stakeholders and business groups, have, however, opposed the program since the idea was first introduced in a public consultation in June 2021.

Seventeen stakeholders and business organizations called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to intervene and immediately scrap AO 04-2021 and TOP-CRMS, which they said “threatens to cripple the transport and logistics industries and the national economy as a whole.”

The groups estimate that the direct financial cost alone of the additional insurance fees, transaction fees, and trucking fees required by TOP-CRMS will increase by almost 50% the cost of importing goods, or, in real terms, a staggering additional annual import cost of at least P35 billion.

They added that the system will also not solve port congestion as claimed by PPA, but is a “clear usurpation of Customs function.”

Two stakeholder organizations threw their support the system, saying it will finally end issues on the return of container deposit and empty containers.