The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has proposed revisions on their current rules on the commencement of the free storage period (FSP) and the start of the calculation of storage charges.
The proposal depicts shorter FSP for import cargoes, outbound-domestic cargoes, and cargoes entering any domestic port.
The existing five (5) day FSP rule for import cargoes starts after the last day that the last item of cargo is discharged from the vessel. While the proposal prescribes that FSP shall immediately commence on the actual day and time the import cargo is discharged from the ship.
Moreover, the current two (2) day FSP for the outbound-domestic cargo, which begins after the date of cargo entry, is proposed to start off immediately on the actual day and time the outbound domestic cargo is officially received at the port.
Similarly, for domestic cargo entering any port, the current two (2) day FSP, which begins after the date of cargo entry, is proposed to start immediately on the actual day and time the domestic cargo is discharged from the ship.
As for export cargoes, there will be no major changes. The rule of four (4) day FSP commencing on the actual day and time the cargo is officially received at the port will remain.
PPA deems it necessary to revise the existing policy to a) ensure data accuracy by capturing and recording real-time elements in the handling, transfer, storage, and delivery of cargo in ports, b) ensure that the port areas are utilized most efficiently, and to c) reduce cargo dwell time in the yard.
PHILEXPORT, the umbrella organization of exporters, conveyed in a position paper submitted to PPA that “a generally lesser FSP may resurrect some of the issues that have already been or are still being resolved such as port congestion, inefficient cargo management, and shipment schedules, and high costs of doing business, among others. All these pose threats to the survival of MSME-exporters, especially as they are still regaining their momentum from the pandemic.”
The proposed policy revision is presented to the stakeholders at a virtual public hearing on 04 February 2021. – KJDA