The Maldives Customs Service has automated its clearance of air cargo.

Speaking at the inauguration of the automated air cargo clearance system, Minister of Homeland Security and Technology Ali Ihusaan said the president’s vision is to provide the most convenience when it comes to public services, adding that current developments demonstrate that the president’s mandate is being fulfilled.

According to Customs Deputy Chief Superintendent Ahmed Simah, the cargo clearance service was previously provided through an old system consisting of many institutions and requiring a lot of paperwork. He said the new mechanism will allow customers to enter a number given by Maldives Airports Company Limited (MACL) on a customs portal and conveniently check the information. Manual paperwork checks and verification of information will now be automated, which will greatly enhance efficiency, Simah added.

“From the time the goods are submitted to customs to the time they are received, it will take three seconds. And for an overall solution, the clearance system will now take two hours, whereas it used to take two days,” Simah explained.

While the cargo clearance system has been automated, Velana International Airport (VIA) has newly inaugurated a cargo terminal which boasts an annual capacity of 120,000 metric tonnes; more than two times its previous capacity.