Oct 16, 2011 (LBO) - The Sri Lanka Ports Authority aims to have a long-delayed online billing system ready by January 2012 with the customs already ready with an electronic payment portal having done test runs.
The system will allow clients of the port to log in through the internet and make payments with information being updated at the port system and customs along with the facilitating bank, a statement said.
Sri Lanka Customs will be introducing the latest software 'ASYCUDA World' electronic payment system from November 01, 2011.
According to SLPA even credit cards also could be used to pay 'e -bills' which SLPA chairman Priyath Wickrama said will enable clients to reduce their workload and speed up business dealings with the port.
"Already the software is in place and soon we will be doing some trial runs with some clients,” Wickama was quoted as saying.
"Hopefully by January we will be up and running and nobody should come to the port any more to make payments," he told an industry work shop organised by the Shippers' Academy Colombo at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
Additional Director General of Customs Ajantha Dias said they were ready with 'e- payments' and had already done the test runs.
He requested the trade to use parts of the system which were now operational such as filing 'CusDec' or customs declaration documents which will be extended to all areas soon.
With the new system clients should be able to do many documentation processes via the internet, including payments, he said.
Payments could be made online from any part of the island as the system would be web based.
State-owned Bank of Ceylon (BOC) has been working with customs and SLPA upgrading their financial software.
BOC is the first bank to introduce the e-portal with customs which will be extended to other banks.
Shippers’ Academy chief executive Rohan Masakorala said the long-overdue electronic payment system would help the local trading community reduce costs.
He said he hopes the country could have full automation within the next 12-24 months in all areas of trade facilitation by linking the other departments and ministries.
“This would certainly help our international logistics rankings.”
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