Shorter vessel clearance time aimed

National 2 minutes, 1 second

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE government has set a target on Border Compliance to reduce the time it takes for vessels to be cleared from Muara Port, from the current 47 hours it takes to under 32 hours by March 2017.

Minister of Energy and Industry at the Prime Minister’s Office YB Pehin Datu Singamanteri Colonel (Rtd) Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Mohammad Yasmin Hj Umar explained that some of the reasons for the 47 hours are due to processes, which include automation and manual labour in handling the equipment.

Currently, only 34 per cent of Full-Container Loads and 10 per cent of Loose-Cargo Loads are cleared from Muara Port within the 32- hour target.

As part of improving on Trading Across Borders, the government is also continuously looking to improve on Documentary Compliance, by easing processes on customs clearances for both controlled and non-controlled goods by having them auto-approved within five minutes.

YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin said reforms have been done to date in trading across border transactions, making it more seamless and efficient.

Such examples are exports and imports being made easier with a Brunei Darussalam National Single Window for permits via the Royal Customs and Excise Department, where there have been improvements in procedure and time for major imports and exports.

The minister said there has also been an introduction of auto approval for majority non-controlled goods, as well as revised port clearance process for methanol exportation.

However, the minister said there is more work to be done on Trading Across Borders to continue and improve.

“Trading Across Borders is a work in progress, and I hope that by the next one or two years, we can improve a lot on this,’’ said YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin.

Within the next year, the minister said they will improve the system by introducing automating duty calculation through the Brunei Darussalam National Single Window, or implementing an alternative way to collect sales tax.

The government will also be looking to improve the infrastructure and processes, by implementing a plan to improve the ports efficiency, including internal processes within the Muara Port in the short term.

He added there will be an investment and rollout of a new quay crane and forklift, with the privatisation of the Muara Port in the long term. Also, YB Pehin Dato Hj Mohd Yasmin said transparency will be improved through publishing the performance of forwarders to increase productivity.

The Brunei Times