Asian shippers are concerned that the high cost arising from implementing cargo safety measures has not benefi ted them directly, and this was one of the thorny issues raised at the recent 4thAsian Shippers’ Meeting in Seoul.
Hong Kong Shippers Council executive director Sunny Ho said a Chinese delegate to the meeting quoted a Japanese shipper as saying that in Japan, a Toyota executive had told him that it had taken the car manufacturer 10 years to shorten the production lead time by one day. “But the US Customs and Border Protection’s Automated Manifest Systems (AMS) requirement had set back the lead time by two days,” the Toyota executivewas quoted as saying.
AMS is a multi-modular cargo inventory control and release notifi cation system for sea, air, and rail carriers aimed to speed up fl ow of cargo and entry processing. The systems, which provide participants with electronic authorization to move cargo prior to arrival, facilitates the inter-modal movement and delivery of cargo by rail andtrucks through the In-bond system.
AMS reduces reliance on paper documents and speeds up the processing of manifest and waybill data. So, cargo remains on the dock for lesser period, while Customs provide better service to the USA importing community. Ho said that to alleviate renewed terrorist attacks, the US authorities had introduced in Hong Kong the 24-hour cargo manifest rule – deadline for submission of cargo manifests prior to vessel departure,lengthening lead time by three days.
Prior to this rule, cargo manifests could be submitted by Friday or even Saturday, but now shippers had to submit them as early as Wednesday and Thursday, three days earlier than before, he adds. “We hope with the increased use of electronic documentation and transaction, we will be able to reduce administrative work and repetitive data entry, and data transplantingrequirements,” Ho said.
“But what worries shippers more are the costs of new security measures that might be introduced such as 100 percent screening of cargo before loading into containers requirements in the EU and the USA.” As the systems in the USA and the EU are different, both areas use different formats, software and hardware and so on. – Wong Joon san