PUTRAJAYA: The National Security Council’s (MKN) decision to allow loading and unloading activities of non-essential goods on selected days during the national lockdown has been lauded by the Transport Ministry.
Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong said the move by MKN took into account the balance between high Covid-19 numbers and the need to ensure adequate movement of goods.
“The ministry has been monitoring the status of warehouse and container yard capacities at ports and airports nationwide.
“It was found that some areas are approaching maximum capacity during the lockdown, which started on June 1.
“To alleviate the situation for logistics players and to clear capacity at the ports and airports, we welcome MKN’s decision to allow exporters and importers to perform loading and unloading of non-essential goods from 8am to 8pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays starting June 18.
“This operation will also allow movement of non-essential goods, which is limited to stock in hand only, for importing and exporting to neighbouring countries.
“This decision was reached after considering the balance between addressing the alarming number of Covid-19 cases and the need to ensure adequate and uninterrupted movement of goods for our conventional marketplaces and e-commerce activities, ” said Dr Wee in a statement.
The minister said operations for essential goods that had been granted International Trade and Industry Ministry letters were not subject to this arrangement.
Dr Wee said the ministry implemented a series of similar port clearing exercises during the first movement control order in early 2020 to facilitate import and export and ensure unhindered movement of goods.
On the loading and unloading of non-essential goods allowed starting today, Dr Wee said the activities were limited to loading and unloading of cargo to and from factories, ports and airports intended for exports and imports.
This includes clearance, planning, movement of goods, forklift operations, loading and unloading.
As for procedures – exporters, importers and warehouse operators must obtain police permission at the nearest station with their cargo-related documents such as invoice, bill of lading and packing list as proof, along with a list of workers involved in performing the activity.
The number of workers allowed is limited and should be in accordance with the relevant SOP.
“This police permission can be used as travel permission for workers at roadblocks and to be shown to enforcement personnel while performing the activity at the company’s premises, ” said Dr Wee.
He also reminded all personnel involved to adhere to Covid-19-related protocols.