July 13, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Customs department plans to speed up cargo clearance by automating documentation and introducing systems to screen only high and medium-risk shipments, an official said. Under the new system, when customs is ready to release cargo the department will notify the port authorities electronically so they can release the container without delay. The present manual system of selecting cargo for screening will be automated and shipments determined as low-risk will not be checked, he said.
“We are going to change to a system which will decided what to examine,” he said. “Only high and medium risk cargo will be chosen for documentary and physical cargo examination.”
The aim was to minimise screening and to put low or no risk cargo to the ‘green channel’ which means that after payment the consignee or agent can take the cargo without examination.
“There will then be no need to go to the examination yard. Shippers can take the container directly from the port to their warehouse.”