The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Three months ahead of the participation of all importers in the National Single Window (NSW) program, the government should immediately improve road infrastructure within and towards Jakarta's Tanjung Priok port, said panelists in a seminar here.
The NSW is an online program for the issuance of exports and import documents developed by the government since 2006 and aims to simplify the bureaucratic permit process for traders.
"With the current phase of implementation of the NSW, which only applies to a limited number of companies participating in the program, they need only one day to get their goods out of the port.
"But the lack of infrastructure, which continuously causes traffic congestion in the port, is disappointing for businessmen because it raises costs eventually," said Association of Companies with Priority Lanes (APJP) chairman Gunadi Sindhuwinata on Wednesday.
Currently, the program applies only to the 100 members of APJP.
He used as an example how his company's trucks could actually pick up goods from the port three times a day, but the traffic congestion and poor road conditions forced him to send them only once a day.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the establishment of the NSW, which was part of the ambitious plan of joining the ASEAN single window at the end of 2008, was more difficult for Indonesia than other ASEAN members because the country still lacked infrastructure and covered a huge geographic area.
Effendi Batubara, director general for sea transportation at the Transportation Ministry, said he hoped that after the completion of the Jakarta Outer Ring Road II, the transportation and logistic flow to and from Tanjung Priok Port would be better.
The construction of the 122.6-kilometer toll road, which will run from Sukarno-Hatta airport and link Serpong, Cinere, Cibitung, Cilincing and Tanjung Priok, is expected to finish in 2010.
Effendy said the ministry was working on the development of some infrastructure such as storage facilities and roads inside Tanjung Priok Port.
Currently, the NSW can serve only a hundred importers that have good records of obedience to guidelines and duty payments, which are included in the priority or green lane.
Starting in April, all importers will be able to use the service, which will be provided by 18 government agencies with 31 authorities to issue export and import documents on line, as compared to the current five government agencies authorized to issue documents.
NSW committee secretary Edy Putra Irawady said currently three government agencies -- the Directorate General of Post and Telecommunications as well as the health and industry ministries -- had confirmed their participation in the NSW.
Director for information at the customs office Heri Kristiono said importers of non-priority or red lane goods would also be able use the system if they could prepare their imported goods to be inspected by the prime customs office.
"The inspection should take less than eight hours," he said.
Also in October, the government will expand the NSW program's implementation in four other ports including Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, Tanjung Emas in Semarang, and Tanjung Belawan in Medan. (ind)