Wednesday, August 31, 2011

INDONESIAN Chamber of Commerce seeks delay in strict AIR CARGO screening


THE Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for further six-month postponement of a new cargo inspection process at international airports, saying lack of infrastructure and manpower will cause bottlenecks, reports the Jakarta Globe.

Ahead of the planned commencement of the cargo inspection process next week, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman Suryo Bambang Sulisto said companies were not ready.

"There are only four cargo inspection agents handling 900 tons of merchandise per day. This will cause bottlenecks in airports, not to mention additional fees," said Mr Sulisto.

The regulation, designed to improve security surveillance at the urging of the International Civil Aviation Organisation, was first implemented in July at Soekarno Hatta International Airport. Packages are to be inspected individually, incurring an additional fee of 10 to 14 times the normal rate of IDR60 (US$0.007) per kilogramme.

When the system was implemented, chaos immediately ensued. A long backlog developed of cargo waiting for inspection, prompting cargo forwarding companies to strike, said the report.

Hundreds of tons of cargo, including newspapers, medicines and even human remains awaiting repatriation were stranded, incurring losses estimated in the billions of rupiah.

Hundreds of workers staged a one-day rally to protest the regulation that stipulated that only three companies - Duta Angkasa Prima Kargo, Gita Afian Trans and Fajar Anugerah Sejahtera - would be responsible for security screening of cargo shipments.

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