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ACFA commends government on 24/7 Customs operations

7 May 2015 03:28 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Association of Clearing and Forwarding Agents (ACFA) commended the recent actions initiated by the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) on the facilitation provided to importers and exporters, which certainly has a positive impact on trade. 
The clearing and forwarding agents who represent the importers and the exporters in all dealings with the government departments such as Sri Lanka Customs, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, Import Control Department and all related agencies now see a definite difference in the performance and attitudes of the staff in all the departments.
Credit of course should go to Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, who has organised several meetings with the stakeholders and insisted that the Customs Department and Sri Lanka Ports Authority should work on a 24-hour basis, taking into consideration that the ports work on  a 24 x 7 basis with the ships loading and discharging cargo day and night at the port, also facilitating  clearance of cargo throughout. 
Customs Director General Jagath Wijeweera and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman and Directors have worked tirelessly to set the wheels in motion, as the working of such departments in the night hours has certain logistical problems. 
Initially it was necessary that the mindset of the staff and the clients had to undergo certain transformations. Now it is indeed very evident that all their efforts have the desired effect and all the concerned departments are providing very satisfactory services to the clients with promising results.
Soon it is envisaged that the services thus provided will expand and much greater volumes of cargo will pass through the Port of Colombo smoothly with speed and efficiency.
If the Port of Colombo is to establish itself as a true hub port in this region, all related departments in Sri Lanka will have to work towards providing seamless solutions to the import and export trade and also to the all-important trans-shipment component of cargo which passes through the Port of Colombo, as this contributes almost 75 percent of the total throughput of the volumes which pass through the Port of Colombo.
Despite some of the stakeholders dislike the change in the culture, as they have to be geared to do the night shifts and there would be additional costs involved, the ACFA, as the cardinal link in handling import and export cargo, is fully geared to support this system for the betterment and development of the country. But the end result would be that this system of 24 x 7 operation will be a boon to the economy of this country. 

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