BOC orders transfer of empty containers at Manila port to Batangas, Subic
MANILA, Philippines — To ease congestion at the ports of Manila, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has ordered the transfer of empty containers to Batangas and Subic ports.
BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero in a February 18 memorandum ordered port/district collectors at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) as well as the ports of Batangas, Manila, and Subic to implement Executive Order (EO) No. 172 issued in 2014, which declared the Port of Batangas (POB) as well as the Subic Bay Freeport (SBFP) as the Port of Manila’s (POM) extensions when it gets congested and during emergency situations.
Given the ongoing congestion at the Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and the South Harbor, Guerrero said all empty containers must be transferred to the Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) terminal in Batangas and the International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) terminal in Subic.
“The district/port collectors of POB and SBFP shall exercise authority over the containers to be transferred, while the POM and MICP district/port collectors are directed to immediately transmit all pertinent documents relative to the subject containers for immediate processing and disposal,” Guerrero said.
In January, the industry group Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) cited the return of empty containers as among their concerns at the country’s ports.
During a meeting between Guerrero and PCCI officials, the BOC chief said container yard operators were “amenable with the BOC requirement to lower and maintain their utilization rate to 70 percent.”
“ATI has already transferred empty containers to Batangas port last January 14. Sweeper vessels will also be utilized to transfer empty containers from Manila to Batangas and Subic. This would reduce the utilization rate in the Manila ports,” according to Guerrero.
The BOC had also sought the Department of Finance’s (DOF) approval of the draft Customs Administrative Order (CAO) seeking to slap additional duties and taxes to overstaying containers, he said. /kga
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