Pursuant to discussions Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) had with Additional Secretary of Defence Saman Dissanayake with a view to introducing and streamlining the electronic approval process for dangerous cargo (explosive nature) through the ports of Sri Lanka, in keeping with the Government policy of eliminating paper-based documents and switching to electronic exchange of documents positive developments have been experienced by the industry.
The approval of the Ministry of Defence to discharge, transship or retain in transit dangerous cargo of an explosive nature on board vessels was led by Saman Dissanayake under the guidance and direction of Secretary Defence General Kamal Gunaratne. This has greatly reduced the manual work and the physical visits required in order to process the required approvals for dangerous cargo.
Dissanayake presided over a series of discussions with CASA/Shipping Agents to introduce and implement a full email based process including the facility for shipping agents to pay charges to the Bankers to Ministry of Defence, scanning and emailing the receipt to the Ministry of Defence.
The approval from Ministry of Defence is also provided online via email with an agreed process between Ministry of Defence and Shipping Agents to regularise hard copy documentation on a weekly basis. This agreed procedure enables shipping agents to effectively and efficiently manage the dangerous cargo approval process with the Ministry of Defence in a very cost-effective manner limiting movement of agency personnel in keeping with health guidelines as well. CASA takes the opportunity to thank the Secretary of Defence General Kamal Gunaratne and Additional Secretary of Defence (Civil Security and Development) Saman Dissanayake for their understanding and ready response in effecting this positive change and look forward to other public sector organisations emulating this lead.
CASA continues to strive in working towards ‘”ease of doing business’’ for our members and are grateful to several public and private sector organisations for their support and cooperation and look forward to a paperless business environment.