(File photo)

MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has collected over PHP237 million through the public auction of “overstaying” containers in all ports nationwide during the first eight months of the year.

In a statement Thursday, the bureau reported that from January to August 2022, a total of 318 “overstaying” containers were disposed of by the ports which generated total revenue of PHP237,379,455.

Meanwhile, 519 containers have been condemned while 56 containers were donated to various government agencies.

This is in line with the directive of Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz, to all the ports to expedite the disposition of all forfeited and abandoned goods through the modes provided under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The BOC-Port of Manila (POM) and the Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) together with the Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL) continuously implement the Empty Loadout Shipping Agreement (ELSA).

Under the ELSA, vessels docked at the Manila South Harbor will load empty containers already in the terminal yard regardless of which shipping line owned such containers.

The initiative is one of the measures implemented at the Port to free up the terminal yards of empty containers for loadout and repositioning in other countries and to maintain a healthy yard utilization rate.

Meanwhile, the POM has disposed of 262 containers, 87 of which were auctioned while 175 were condemned.

The BOC also formed a task group to work closely with AISL and truckers on issues relative to the return of empty containers both at the terminal yards and at designated empty container yard depots.

A study is currently being undertaken on the proposal to automate the monitoring of movement of containers, particularly its return to the concerned shipping lines to further prevent congestion. (PNA)