Automated system to curtail long-room Customs procedures | Daily News

Automated system to curtail long-room Customs procedures

An automated system has been developed to curtail the long-room Customs procedures and a pilot project has been started with selected exporters. Director General of Sri Lanka Customs, MajorGeneral (Retd) Vijitha Ravipriya mentioned that Sri Lanka Customs has linked with Sri Lanka Tea Board, Department of Motor Traffic, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Terminal Operators and National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) to deliver an automated system.

He was speaking at the European Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka hosted webinar on ‘Paperless and Contactless Procedures at the Port of Clearance’ recently.He also mentioned that the Department of Immigration and Emigration, Duty Free shops and courier services will also betaken onto a single platform using the ASYCUDA system. Currently, Sri Lanka Customs accepts export orimport invoices electronically and customers are given the advantage of the e-pay platform since April 1, 2020. Seventy percent of Sri Lanka Customs process is automated to date and by addressing the difficulties and challenges faced by Sri Lanka Customs such as lack of human resources and infrastructure facilities, it can be brought up to 100% functionality. “Sri Lanka Customs will conduct awareness programs with the financial facilities obtained from the line ministries and encourage officers’ contribution to function the system.”Addressing the webinar, Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), General (Retd.) R. M. Daya Ratnayake highlighted the importance of eliminating bottlenecks in Ports and Customs procedures in Sri Lanka and increasing the ease of doing business throughout the supply chain. Meanwhile, 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. Moreover, 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.General Manager – Operations of South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd (SAGT), Upul Jinadasa explained that the paperless system at SAGT is process driven, adaptation of right technology, establishing accuracy, standardization and discipline across all related data and processes.

“Although digitalisation has been established at the SAGT since 2003, a digital paperless delivery processing including-payments has been introduced in June 2020.” Under the paperless system, vehicle booking system is introduced to minimise truck waiting times, traffic and optimise utilisation and costs where current average truck turnaround time including entry queuing is less than 45 minutes. (SS)