Thursday, 25 September 2008

Government to reduce port overloads

In addition to accelerating its inspection process, the government is looking to reduce overloading and delays at Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok port by penalizing traders who fail to remove goods that clear customs, The Jakarta Post reported.
A government-appointed team charged with assuring the smooth flow of export and import goods will arrange a series of meetings to provide solutions to the port's overloading problems, Trade Minister Mari Pangestu said.
Among other problems causing delays is the practice of traders who secure a clearance, but choose to store their goods at the port, she said, adding the appointed team would investigate the problem.
"It now takes three to eight days for a container undergoing the redline inspection to go from unloading to customs clearance, with another few days before it's picked up by the importer," Pangestu said Thursday after an inspection at one of the port's terminals.
Many importers choose to store their containers "for months" as "it is more expensive for them to pick the goods up immediately and keep them in warehouses than to keep them here," said a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Nearly 185,000 containers move in and out of the port every month, up from 160,000 containers per month last year, said Abdullah Syaifudin, president director of state port operator PT Pelindo II.
"The team is considering applying disincentives in the foreseeable future for importers who have obtained customs clearances but continue to store goods at the port," Pangestu said. The team will also formulate a set of incentives for fast collection of goods.
The team, led by Coordinating Minister for the Economy Sri Mulyani Indrawati, includes, among others, Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii, Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto and Pangestu.

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