With no reports of port congestion so far, the green lane facility of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will continue to be suspended as the agency’s selectivity system goes under scrutiny, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said.
“The suspension of the green lane continues,” the new customs chief said in a press briefing on September 13. He said they had been monitoring if the suspension would cause congestion at the port and was informed it has not.
“There’s no need to lift kasi wala namang (since there’s no) congestion. Let... all these (green lane) cargoes pass through the x-ray,” he said.
Lapeña said the suspension, which began on Aug. 30, will “continue as long as needed” while BOC is still reviewing its selectivity system. This has led to shipments now being directed to the yellow or red lane.
The suspension came amid congressional inquiries about a shipment of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) worth P6.5 billion that slipped past BOC because it was directed to the green lane.
Shipments tagged for the green lane are not reviewed and inspected, while cargoes bound for the yellow lane are subject to documentary review. Shipments tagged for the red lane undergo both documentary review and physical or non-intrusive inspection.
Lapeña said that to prevent delays in the release of containers with the
continued green lane suspension, he has ordered the use of two standby x-ray machines kept in reserve by BOC to replace malfunctioning units.
Under BOC’s selectivity system, 20% of cargoes passing through BOC daily are directed to the green lane, 60% to yellow lane, and 20% to red lane, according to Management Information System and Technology Group deputy commissioner Gerardo Gambala. -- www.portcalls.com
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