The Laguna Gateway Inland Container Terminal (LGICT), the dry port facility of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) located in Southern Luzon, is gearing up for brisker business now that the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) has issued the interim guidelines for operators of accredited customs facilities and warehouses.
“LGICT is an innovation we launched to improve the flow of trade in southern Luzon. As an extension of the seaport, specifically ICTSI’s flagship Manila International Container Terminal (MICT), the Laguna dry port is at the heart of manufacturing activities. We are bringing the trading gateway [to] the doorstep of the economic zones,” ICTSI senior vice president and head of the Asia Pacific region and MICT Christian R. Gonzalez said in a statement.
“The interim operational guidelines will give us headway in priming the dry port for container volumes in the coming months. We are glad to be the pioneering facility of this kind in the country,” he added.
A one-stop shop that will house BOC and Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) offices will soon be built within the facility. “In the near future, we will commission rubber-tired gantries in the container yard, construct container freight stations and warehouses, and in the soonest time possible, revive freight rail services between Laguna and the Port of Manila,” Gonzalez said.
“All of these redound to the benefit of southern Luzon businessmen: improved economies of scale, efficient and seamless movement of goods, optimized costs, and over the long term, good business. LGICT enhances industrial productivity of the PEZA zones, especially customs bonded warehouses, and multinational companies using outside yard warehouse.”
Last June 17, Faeldon issued Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 12-2017 providing guidelines on clearance procedures for import and export containers at LGICT. The memorandum was issued pending approval of a customs administrative order on accredited customs facilities and warehouses.
The Laguna dry port is the first customs facility to be established under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, and the first off-dock container yard to open in Southern Luzon. In February, BOC certified LGICT as an authorized off-dock customs facility, enabling the customs bureau to extend its functions and activities to the dry port.
ICTSI said LGICT, which implements electronic data transfer technology, is designed to accelerate trade facilitation in the region. It is the first customs facility in the country to use the electronic cargo tracking system for inbound and outbound cargo transfers. Currently, a fleet of reach stackers, empty handlers, and prime movers is in operation at the terminal.
LGICT has allocated five hectares of yard space as customs area, designed to accommodate 5,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) at any one time. Services offered include laden container storage, empty depot, reefer container plugs, a dedicated loading and stripping area, and subleasing of select terminal areas.
To use the LGICT, clients must declare their goods and the details of delivery using any shipping document such as master bill of lading, house bill of lading, or inward foreign manifest. Clients should also be registered at BOC’s Client Profile Registration System to prove that their business has a good track record, is located in Southern Luzon, and has a contribution to the national economy.
Only accredited and registered trucks are allowed to deliver containers to and from MICT and LGICT. To secure the safety of cargo, trucks must have a vehicle tracking system linked to the onsite BOC system.
Located in the heart of Southern Luzon, the LGICT supports the trade activities of economic zones within a 30-kilometer radius, primarily the industrial provinces of Laguna, Batangas, and Quezon, including the eastern front of Cavite. The 21-hectare LGICT has a capacity of 250,000 TEUs annually.
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