Maldives Ports Limited (MPL) introduced an Electronic Gate Pass (EGP) to automate the current clearing process by eliminating manual work and transforming an end-to-end paperless solution.
The “Gate Pass” (GP) is a special permit for consignees to remove their cargo from the Port. It provides the details and quantity of cargo that is approved by Customs, MPL, and other relevant agencies. Each agency has to sign the GP document for approval to release the goods.
“The current clearance process is extremely complex and time-consuming,” said Ilyas Mohamed – Database Engineer, IT department. “It takes several hours to complete the process. Clearing Agents (CA) had to physically go back and forth to the Maldives Customs Services (MCS), Food & Drug Authority (FDA), Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF), and other relevant agencies to get approval for the shipment. The CA has to submit all the necessary documents to those agencies based on the type of the cargo, and had to wait for officials to respond in order to proceed or to get approval. The relevant agencies also have to go through each document to make sure it qualifies the guidelines. Introducing the EGP an integrated system accessible to all agencies; it uses a streamlined Application Programming Interface to make the entire workflow efficient, transparent and reliable”.
In this automated system, the consignee must use the online portal “My Bandharu” for container shifting requests and assign the CA to clear the cargo. The consignee needs to ensure the CA is a registered agent in the MPL and Delivery Order is approved by the Shipping Agent.
Bills of Landing (BL) and manifest information are shared between MPL and Customs through a data link (API) for verification and approval. MCS will approve the BL after verifications from respective agencies like FDA and MNDF. This process involves both documentation and physical checking of the goods in the container or cargo slot. After the initial approval, goods will be unloaded to the vehicle, and a clearance officer will generate EGP for that vehicle. This EGP will be sent to the Customs officer for final approval through the system. After the final approval, an SMS notification will be sent to CA and the vehicle driver to confirm the permission to exit. Security Officer checks the goods in the vehicle against the BL in the Bandharu system at the port Out Gate and allows the vehicle to exit from the gate.
The consignees can also see the clearance movement from the portal “My Bandharu”; which logs each gate pass, exit date and time for each consignment.
EGP brings a total paperless solution to the entire clearance process. It reduces the cost of printing, saves time, eliminates complex procedures, and brings real-time data interchange environment.
MPL has always been committed to applying the latest technology and smart applications to boost innovation to serve and provide better solutions to the stakeholders. This is one of our endeavors to migrate processes to our online services with focused efforts on creating convenient solutions and ease of access to our customers.
MPL has introduced many other online services which includes; Payment Gateway, Online Document Submissions, BL’s Upload, ETA, Pilotage Services Requests, Online Container Shifting Requests and many more.
New users can register with My Bandharu to use our online services via the following link; https://my.port.mv/.