Customs inspects cold storage facilities to prevent port congestion

By Betheena Kae Unite

Physical inspection on at least 23 national meat inspection service (NMIS) listed cold storage facilities in Metro Manila has been conducted by the Bureau of Customs to prevent port congestion.


The bureau had earlier issued Joint Administrative Order (JAO) 20-01 in April 2020 to expedite the release of refrigerated containers and dry vans during the pandemic.

“The BOC reserves the right to exercise its authority to enter properties as stated under Section 219 of the Republic Act No. 10863 known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and said inspections will be done in compliance with CMTA provisions as the bureau ensures smooth movement of goods to and from the ports,” it added.

According to NMIS, there are 151 cold storage facilities nationwide, 45 of which are in Metro Manila.

Agents from the Customs-Enforcement Security Service “will continue inspecting the remaining warehouses in the coming days to check on their status and utilization,” the bureau said.

As of June 9, the bureau said it has already released a total of 12,969 shipments of personal protective gears and other medical supplies.

Yard utilization of seven key ports in the country have not gone beyond 71 percent on Tuesday. Port of Manila and the Manila International Container Port have 65 percent and 44.83 percent yard utilization, respectively.

Davao Sasa Wharf has 4.15 percent yard utilization while Davao DICT Panabo has 70.59. Ports in Batangas, Cebu, and Subic have 36.4 percent, 50 percent, and 35 percent of yard utilization, respectively.

It can be recalled that in the early days of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon, the bureau has transferred thousands of containers to other yards to free up space in ports in Manila in a bid to avoid port congestion during the limited movement of goods due to the restrictions.