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Manila Intenational Container Terminal photo courtesy of the Philippine Ports Authority.

Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) rules implementing the joint administrative order (JAO) adopting processes for expedited release of shipments during the enhanced community quarantine have been issued.

The rules include strict withdrawal timelines for containers, including seven days for all dry vans and refrigerated containers, except for chilled cargoes which are given five days from April 4, 2020.

PPA Administrative Order (AO) 03-2020 dated April 8 applies to reefer containers and dry vans at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and Manila South Harbor.

It covers time-sensitive chilled cargoes like pharmaceuticals/medicines, fruits, vegetables, chilled meat or other foodstuffs; frozen cargoes like fish and meat; and dry goods like out-of-gauge (OOG) cargoes, described as heavy equipment or project cargoes stored on flatbed chassis.

Under the rules, reefers unclaimed after three days from the prescribed period will be declared abandoned by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Cargoes staying at the terminals beyond 30 days from date of discharge must be withdrawn within five days from April 4, or be considered abandoned and forfeited in favor of government, subject to immediate disposition by BOC, upon approval by the Finance secretary.

Terminal operators are to pull out reefers from the customs yard and relocated to another facility where the appropriate government authority can determine if the goods inside are still viable.

If the shipment is found unfit for human consumption and condemned by BOC, shipping lines should defray the cost of condemnation to be carried out by the condemnation contractor accredited by BOC.

Reefer containers arriving after April 4 must be withdrawn within 10 days from discharge or they will be declared abandoned and forfeited in favor of government.

The free storage period (FSP) for reefer containers and OOG cargoes is a maximum of five days from date of discharge.

After the FSP, terminal operators should transfer the cargoes to a designated port at the expense of the importer/consignee in accordance with PPA AO 02-2019 (Guidelines on the Immediate Transfer of Overstaying Import Cargoes from the Terminals to Designated Ports) and Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 11-2020 (Port Emergency Measures to Ensure Unhampered Flow of Import Cargo at MICT).

Terminal operators should issue an electronic gate pass to expedite entry/exit access to port/terminal gates, delivery and withdrawal, and loading/discharging of cargoes.

Overstaying reefers or refrigerated containers and dry vans stored or kept at the terminals will be moved immediately to a designated port. A designated port refers to any dry port, inland container terminal, depot and seaport entry designated by PPA or the terminal operator as alternative port, other than the port of discharge, where cargo may be transferred pursuant to PPA AO 02-2019 and MC 11-2020. Other locations may be jointly designated by BOC and PPA.

In case reefers are transferred to a designated port or alternative reefer sites for storage, all expenses to be incurred in the transfer, including, but not limited to, transportation, examination and re-scaling before, during, and after the transfer, will be borne by the terminal operators. But this shall be without prejudice to the terminal operator’s right to collect from the cargo owner, importer, or consignee, or from their respective agents or customs brokers the applicable costs, port and terminal fees, and other charges.

Empty containers will be returned to shipping lines that own them or to their owners.

Lease rental for alternative reefer sites will be borne by the terminal operators, subject to collection of appropriate handling, forwarding, and storage charges from the cargo owner.

The terminal operators should publish the list of reefer containers pending at the port through government websites, and social media sites, and in leading newspapers.

Terminal operators should remain open 24 hours, except on Good Friday, and expedite entry/exit of trucks with confirmed bookings to pick up and deliver containers and ensure the 24/7 operation of the Terminal Appointment Booking System.

JAO 20-01 implements the order of the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to address disruptions in the supply chain. The JAO was signed on April 2 by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), BOC, and PPA.

READ: JAO fast tracks release of cargoes to address port congestion

The JAO was also issued after port operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. on March 27 said MICT “has come to a point where it is becoming impossible to operate in an efficient manner.”

BOC, PPA, DTI, DA, and other concerned government agencies were directed to immediately issue their respective issuances to further carry out and implement the provisions of JAO 20-01.

BOC said it will issue its guidelines soon but added that it is already implementing self-executory provisions of the JAO.- Roumina Pablo

One Response to “PPA issues procedures for quick release of cargoes”

  1. Puro press release lang naman BOC at PPA

    Under JAO 20-01 entries would be processed and final assesed within 24 hours.
    Filed April 10. Today is April 13. No action done on entry filed.

    PPA: Only after additional charges collected at the expense of importers


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