The Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC) is moving towards processing and documentation of coffee exports from Lae and other authorised ports using a new online system.
This follows the introduction of an online Coffee Export Management and Facilitation System (CEMFS) financed by Productive Partnerships in Agriculture Project (coffee component).
The Chief Executive Officer of CIC Charles Dambui said the online system will fast track processing of coffee exports including many common shipping documents efficiently without the fuss and delay associated with manual and paper documentation.
He added: “This new service will improve coffee export operations and enable us to be on par with international partners”.
“As time goes by CIC will integrate other features to make the online export Management system to be dynamic and robust. Our aim is to reduce turnaround time and also continue to improve and promote performances of all coffee export business,” he said.
Mr Dambui on behalf of PNG coffee industry acknowledged World Bank and IFAD or International Fund for Agricultural Development via PPAP (coffee) to provide many financial assistance to improve CIC’s capacity including installation of this online system.
Sam Menanga, Manager of Industry Regulations and Compliance (IRC) division of CIC said this is a big improvement but challenged all coffee exporting firms, freight forwarders and others “to work as partners to improve it”.
The online service was developed by SATEC an internet technology (IT) firm owned by Papua New Guineans. The company has 12 years’ IT experience and is based in Brisbane.
This initiative was financed by PPAP coffee at the cost of K200,000. The PPAP is a coffee rehabilitation project financed by World Bank and IFAD under a loan arrangement with PNG Government.
Project Manager for PPAP coffee Potaisa Hombunaka said IT is the way forward in today’s digital world to bring efficiency and remain competitive in coffee business.
The coffee manager added a normal stringent procurement process was involved to engage a qualified national firm to develop and set up the online export system.
“I believe in promoting Papua New Guineans. We have more than enough capabilities in the country and we can always seek their expertise from time to time.”
Simon Areke of SATEC explained they consulted with all including CIC’s Lae export office, exporters, Customs, NAQIA and freight forwarders to put together this system to be appreciated by all.
He said the system is user friendly because they only automated the forms CIC has been using with exporting firms, freight forwarders, NAQIA (National Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Authority) and others to process and certify export of coffee.
“The system is very simple and you will appreciate it when you use it,” said Mr Areke.
He said CIC as the coffee industry regulator will be the administrator of the online service but assured coffee exporters that security of their offshore coffee contracts and other company information is guaranteed.
“We have installed block chain with excellent security systems where export contract details cannot be excess by others,” he said.
Following are other benefits of the online Coffee Export Management and Facilitation System:
• Exporters can monitor status of their application online.
• It is user friendly and simple to use where exporters can quickly edit information on automated forms using mobile phones and tablets from any location without the hassles of rushing back to their offices to make corrections or fill in new forms.
• There is a threshold of 24 hours for responses to application with a reminder to avoid delay in processing and documentation of forms.
• Number of forms to fill in has been reduced.
• The payment for overseas exports are done through bank cheques but the service can utilize an online payment system with the latest BSP exchange rates. It saves time and resources to arrange for banks cheques.
SATEC will host this service initially from Brisbane and in the long run CIC will host it.
Mr Menanga said exporters can start using both the manual and online system until October 2020 when new coffee season begins where all exporters will use the online version.
Coffee processing and exporting firms from all Arabica coffee provinces in the Highlands attended the online introductory session held at the Goroka Phoenix Hotel/Steakhouse. Some firms that attended were Colbran CoffeeLands Ltd, New Guinea Highlands Coffee Export, Coffee Connections, WR Carpenters, Rilke Coffee, Kongo Coffee, Kosem Coffee Ltd and Wapenamanda Coffee Factory.
Exporters were impressed and very positive of this milestone achievement for the industry with remarks or phrases like “highly commented” and “long overdue”.
David Rumbarumba of Kongo Coffee Ltd, a participant said “it makes our job easier for export processes but it is up for all of us to make it work”.
Mark Munnul of Kosem Coffee Ltd in Jiwaka Province asked if CIC can forge an understanding with national carrier Air Niugini to support the online system to include freighting of coffee for micro lots or specialty markets.
Otherwise Mr Munnul was impressed with this new service saying there are many forms to fill like shipping documents and this online system will help speed up the process.
Jemmima Colbran and Esther Vialeahy of Colbran CoffeeLands in the beautiful Aiyura Valley of Eastern Highlands congratulated CIC and PPAP coffee for introducing this long overdue service.
“Overall well done. With the new system, it will make it more efficient for us,” they said.
Approved for release:
Mr Potaisa Hombunaka