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Tanjung Priok dwelling time to be cut to two days by October

Tanjung Priok dwelling time to be cut to two days by October
Indonesia's main port of Tanjung Priok will have dwelling times cut from the current 5.5 days to between two and 2.5 days by October, local reports said.

Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Rizal Ramli said his ministry has appointed Ronnie Rusli, a senior lecturer at the University of Indonesia, as the coordinator of the Dwelling Time Taskforce, which will have the difficult job of cutting through the notorious red tape to improve the port situation.

Ronnie will work with the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister, the National Police and the Indonesian Military. “The port authority has limited power, yet we cannot hand over the task [to reduce dwelling time] to Pelindo because it has its own interests,” Rizal said.

According to Rizal, the taskforce has been given a month to slash the dwelling time at Tanjung Priok Port. “We have to achieve the target because it is what has been instructed by the President,” Ronnie said, adding that one of the taskforce’s first attempts to expedite the dwelling time was done by strengthening the IT system.

Among planned measures is cutting out processing of pre-customs clearance with hard-copy documents. Rizal also said increasing the number of priority importers (green line importers) and reducing the number of the red line importers (high-risk importers with containers that need to undergo several layers of examination) would significantly affect the dwelling time.

“Even though the number of importers categorized as red line importers are relatively small, only 6%, it affected the total dwelling time,” Rizal said.

Another step is to increase the warehouse fees at Tanjung Priok Port to prevent importers from stockpiling their cargo after their licenses had been issued. Around 43% of importers will wait to process their licenses for more than three days after the arrival of their cargo, apparently because of the low warehouse costs, data from the customs office show.

“We also understand that the non-tariff regulations are necessary to limit imports. However, currently there are 124 regulations from around 20 ministries and institutions at the port. We need to simplify these regulations to reduce the dwelling time,” Rizal said.

Rizal also said that the Transportation Ministry’s port authority should also provide a buffer zone outside the port to quarantine high-risk goods.

“Everything is processed at the port, which of course causes a very long dwelling time. Therefore, using next year’s state budget, a buffer zone should be provided to accommodate cargo that needs to be quarantined,” Ronnie said.

The minister also noted that state-owned train operator KAI should continue with its plan to provide train service up to Tanjung Priok Port’s loading and unloading area to speed up the flow of cargo.