A crane at work at Jakarta International Cointainer Terminal (JICT) in Tanjung Priok, Jakarta, on March 23, 2015. (Antara Photo/Wahyu Putro A.)

Customs Office Says Long Port Dwell Time Not Entirely Its Fault


JUNE 23, 2015

Jakarta. Following a rare tirade in which President Joko Widodo threatened to fire officials responsible for the long dwell time at Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok Port, the acting director general of Indonesian customs has claimed his office is not the only agency responsible.

Supraptono said on Tuesday that the lengthy delays in moving containers through the port was not the fault of a single person or agency.

“The responsibility on dwell time is not entirely on customs and excise," he said.

"The directorate general of customs and excise is only a small part of a mechanism in ports."

During a visit to Tanjung Priok Port last Wednesday, Joko noted that Tanjung Priok’s dwell time, or the amount of time a container spends at the port before moving on, was an average of 5.5 days – the longest in Asia, he said.

The president said that needed to be shortened to 4.7 days if Indonesia was to be competitive with Singapore and Malaysia.

The 5.5 days dwell time is broken down roughly as 3.6 days in pre-customs clearance, 0.6 days in customs clearance and 1.3 days in post-customs clearance, Supraptono said.

To reach the targeted dwell time times will need to be shaved back to 2.7 days in pre-customs, 0.5 days in customs and 1.5 days in post-customs clearance.

Supraptono said the directorate general of customs and excise only had authority over the customs clearance process. He added the agency would keep urging other parties to accelerate the process.

“We still need to improve [the customs clearance process] from 0.6 day to 0.5 day, but pre-customs took the longest time,” he said.

Supraptono said pre-customs clearance took the longest time because it required import licenses to be issued. Different government agencies are responsible for issuing different permits related to a particular industry or economic sector.

Another factor that added to the pre-customs clearance time was the fact businessman tended to store their goods at the port, rather than using more expensive private storage facilities, he said.

“Many importers don’t have warehouses. After our meeting at the Finance Ministry yesterday, it is decided that the port authority will apply progressive fees to store imported goods at the port,” Supraptono said. “But it’s not our domain to set the tariff."

According to Supraptono, his agency will try to reduce dwell time through operational improvements.

R. Fadjar Donny, Tanjung Priok customs and excise office chief, said his office was pushing for the single submission of data and information through the Indonesia National Single Window (INSW).