The Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) has given the green light to the Philippine Ports Authority’s (PPA) Trusted Operator Program-Container Registry and Monitoring System (TOP-CRMS) to address issues related to container deposits and empty container returns.
The anti-red tape agency’s endorsement came after careful consideration and reviews of the PPA system. The container deposit issue has been plaguing port users and truckers for so long, and the ARTA recognized that PPA’s system provides the solution.
At present, the export of empty containers is managed by shipping lines without much government regulation.
However, storing empty containers at the port terminals takes up valuable operational area space, contributing to port congestion and negatively affecting the quay crane production rate at the ports.
In 2022, empty containers accounted for over 20% of yard utilization at the port terminals, with an average dwell time almost triple the allowed 72 hours.
ARTA has identified the lack of regulation as the main cause of the problem, and the PPA’s TOP-CRMS meets its criteria for cost-saving mechanisms, including a fee on container deposits and port access roads. The system has also reduced the dwell time of empty container returns to less than 72 hours.
The TOP-CRMS aims to lower logistics costs by replacing the status quo of container deposits that amounts to P10,000-P30,000 with a P250 container deposit insurance and P730 container monitoring fee.
It will also reduce the existing charge for empty container handling from P6,400 to P3,520. The PPA policy on Container Registry and Monitoring System ensures that empty containers will be returned without delays, as it is more efficient, transparent, and less costly.
TOP-CRMS will eradicate existing fees under the return routine of every inbound foreign-owned container, such as Pre-Advise that is priced P1,500, Documentation fee that amounts to P1,200, per lift-on and per lift-off that each cost P1,100, and three days’ storage that is priced at P1,500.
Also, it will erase the other surcharges such as the Shipping Line Detention fee (per day paid by truckers) that charges P4,000, and Trucker Detention Fee (charged to the importer) that is priced at P15,000.
TOP-CRMS is more economical compared to other options, as a 10-year implementation will only have a net cost of P470,726,367,724.00.
This is much cheaper than the highest net cost of Container Ledger Account (CLA) executed by Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) that weighs negative P472,038,745,198 under the 10-year implementation.
PPA General Manager Jay Santiago welcomes the ARTA’s rating.
“TOP-CRMS is the best option to solve the current problems,” Santiago said.
Santiago also vowed the PPA will continue to fine-tune the program and that its implementation will be constantly monitored, with necessary adjustments as necessary.