Gwadar Port goes digital with launching of optic cable network


ISLAMABAD, Dec. 20 : Gwadar goes digital as the state of fiber optic cable network is finally operationalized in true letter and spirit, ushering in era of modern E-Custom at the Port for easier and simpler trans-shipment and containerized trade on commercialized modules.

According to a Gwadar Pro’s report, with laying down fiber optic cable, paperless custom procedures has become fully functional, transforming Gwadar into a bustling hub of regional and international trade to Afghanistan, Central Asia and China.

“Installation of fiber optic cable has equipped Gwadar Port with high-tech web-based one customs (WeBOC) system of goods declaration and clearance,” GDA senior official said. He also added that Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) completed the project of laying down the new fiber optic cable.

He said that the fresh development would play a tremendous role in facilitating traders, custom officers, and agents. “It would make processes simpler, GD clearance system faster and container tracking easier,” he opined.

Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) Chairman Naseer Khan Kashani said that WeBOC was an indigenously developed, web-based computerized clearance system, providing end to end automated customs clearance of import and export goods.

“The system was developed jointly by the Pakistan Customs and PRAL, and was first implemented on trial basis at Port Muhammad Bin Qasim. Subsequently, WeBOC was further rolled out at other terminals and customs stations,” he added.

Presently WeBOC has over 45,000 registered users i.e. businesses, government departments including Anti-Narcotic Force, Engineering Development Board, State Bank of Pakistan, Ministry of Climate Change, Railways, Income Tax Department, Provincial Motor Registering Authorities, Commercial Banks, etc.

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) Executive Vice President Abdul Zahir Achakzai termed the development of fiber optic cable a breakthrough for Gwadar, the future city of Pakistan.

CPEC’s commercial route runs from Gwadar to western China. The corridor, now worth over $ 60 billion, needs faster internet connectivity to run its large-scale operations smoothly. Fiber optic cable is a gigantic step to fulfil this commercial need.

Achakzai added that the company had taken several initiatives to improve internet connectivity in industrial areas as it acknowledged the importance of communication infrastructure.

E-Custom powered up by WeBOC include Goods Declaration, Warehousing and module to handle Break-bulk, modules to handle Commercial Transit cargo for Afghanistan, Manufacturing Bonds, Reverse Transit and Clearances from Border Customs Stations.

Basic features of WeBOC include paperless system such as online manifest filing and online payments, 24/7 GD filing (web-based), Risk Management System (Green, Yellow, Red channels), communication with the custodians of goods/port authorities through EDI, online communication with traders and clearing agents.

This also includes assessment-based online examination reports and images, First-in, First-out (FIFO) based assessment scheme, online adjudication process, online decision support tools for customs and trade, stricter controls and checks (complete log of all activities), the report added.