Complaints are being made by both Customs brokers and shipping line members of the Panama Chamber of Shipping for the poor performance of the new technology platform called the Integrated Customs Management System (SIGA) which is causing delays in the logistics hub of Panama. The main complaint of users of SIGA is the average time it takes to process the amendments, which is one day and a half, but in most cases they last about three to four days and at times have been known to cause delays of up to 15 days. According to users, the processing of the amendment takes too long because only one person is authorized to sign, so they encouraged the authorities to have two people delegated to sign amendments. The National Union of Customs Brokers of Panama (UNCAP) is sending a letter to the director of the National Customs Authority (ANA), Gloria Moreno de Lopez, listing the problems that are occurring with SIGA. The generalized complaint is that the help desk is not working because there are not enough personnel on hand to deal with the demand generated by callers. The ANA employees do not have a work schedule similar to the private sector. A shipping company executive said that the government must think of a 24 hours service if the country aspires to be a logistics hub. The ANA has announced that it will change the working hours of the help desk. Cargo shippers commented that after 48 hours of presentation of the shipping manifest they cannot change the destination of the cargo (or Free Zone), which can delay operations for 4 or 5 business days. SIGA system users explained that if a customer moves a stage in the system and requires a change in the shipping manifest, the client should erase everything he has done so that he can make an amendment, so they suggest that SIGA allows changes even if a transaction is started. Other complaints are that when a bill of lading is deleted, the shipping agent has to manually remove all containers when the SIGA system should automatically process this information. The National Customs Authority (ANA) has invested more than $9 million on this new technological platform that was designed by the Singapore Company, Crimsologic, which designed the system specifically for commercial movement of the Colon Free Zone. With SIGA replacing SICE. Shipping lines commented that the concern is that the port system is in the peak months of cargo movement for the season and year-end volume is confronting delays under the SIGA system that could cause enormous damage to the country’s logistics platform. Users request the module implementation of electonic corrections, which would bring many advantages, including: saving time and paperwork, real-time corrections, etc.
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