Jan 26, 2012 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Ports Authority is to start trials of an electronic cargo payment system at Colombo port in a tie-up with state-owned Bank of Ceylon next week, officials said. Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Priyath Wickrama said a lot of port activities were being converted to semi-automated systems that will make cargo clearance easier and faster.
“This will reduce interaction between customers and port employees – that’s one of our main aims. We know that because of that interaction you have to pay a lot of money,” he told a forum organised by the Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council.
He was referring to bribes port customers are now forced to pay port employees to clear cargo.
Wickrama also said an automated system will quicken cargo clearance.
“Right now you have to go to 13 locations to get cargo cleared. We want you to work from your office and send everything to us electronically to process.”
He said trials on the new online payment system will start next week.
The system had earlier been scheduled to start on January 01, 2012 but had now been put off for March 01, 2012, Wickrama said.
“Before we go online we must do trials for whic