Industry news

20 shipping lines sign up with container deposit refund solution

SINCE its pilot-testing in December 2021, Container Ledger Account (CLA) has attracted 20 shipping lines as subscribers, with the aim of expediting container deposit refunds, reports Manila's PortCalls.

The online system has seen a total of 559 subscribers, including 180 consignees/freight forwarders and 379 customs brokers, container freight stations and warehouse operators.

CLA managed to process container deposit refunds for 5,587 TEU in the first seven months of 2023, representing a significant 653 per cent increase compared to the same period the previous year when only 742 TEU were handled.

Users of CLA benefit from swift refunds, with the average processing time being less than three days from the approval by the shipping lines.

Recent enhancements to the system include the generation of billing invoices through the portal, the inclusion of a searchable bill of lading numbers in reports and transaction history, the ability to upload invoices via Microsoft Excel from shipping lines, automated computation of withholding tax, and the application of Philippine Economic Zone Authority withholding tax.

Additionally, an electronic receipt feature is set to be introduced this month.

CLA serves as a valuable tool for streamlining container deposit management between shipping lines and consignees/agents.

The Department of Transportation and Department of Trade and Industry has endorsed CLA, encouraging members of the Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) to participate.

The AISL boasts a membership of 36 global container lines that operate in Philippine ports.

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