ECCSL hosts webinar on paperless, contactless procedures at port of clearance | Sunday Observer

ECCSL hosts webinar on paperless, contactless procedures at port of clearance

7 March, 2021
Gen. (Retd.) Daya Ratnayake
Gen. (Retd.) Daya Ratnayake

The European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka (ECCSL) hosted a webinar on “Paperless and Contactless Procedures at the Port of Clearance” recently to discuss the new procedures at the Port of Clearance and how this system can reduce delays and increase efficiency.

Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), General (Retd.) Daya Ratnayake outlined the importance of eliminating bottlenecks in Ports and Customs procedures and increasing the ease of doing business throughout the supply chain.

“Industry pressure is building for a single window one-stop facility that allows exchange of information between all parties involved in trade, to reduce the complexity, time and costs,”  he said.

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority has introduced new arrangements to facilitate Full Container Load (FCL), Less than a Container Load (LCL) and Multi-country Consolidation (MCC) container operations smoothly by accepting electronic manifests.

An electronic payment facility is available for Cargo Management System (CMS) in Container Freight Station (CFS) 1, CFS IV and BQ Warehouse Complex and partially implemented CMS at CFS Peliyagoda which will be fully functioning in the near future.

Meanwhile, documents for rework operations (rework applications and guarantee letters) and acceptance of empty container removal applications are operating electronically.

At present, the Customs accepts export or import invoices electronically and customers are given the advantage of e-pay platform since April 1 last year.

Seventy percent of Sri Lanka Customs process is automated to date and, by addressing the difficulties and challenges face by the Customs such as lack of human resources and infrastructure facilities, it can be brought up to 100% functionality. The Customs will conduct awareness programs with the financial facilities obtained from the line ministries and encourage officers’ contribute to function the system.

General Manager, Operations of South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd (SAGT), Upul Jinadasa said that the paperless system at SAGT is process driven, adaptation of right technology, establishing accuracy, standardisation and discipline across all related data and processes.

Although digitalisation has been established at the SAGT since 2003, a digital paperless delivery processing including e-payments was introduced in June last year.

Under the paperless system, a vehicle booking system was introduced to minimise truck waiting times, traffic and optimise use and costs where current average truck turnaround time including entry queuing is less than 45 minutes.