Indian Ports Association (IPA), an autonomous body under the ministry of shipping, confirmed that API of its port community system PCS 1x with Indian customs platform ICEGATE is now live. The first message live is Vessel Call Number (VCN) message.
VCN is an important data field generated after a voyage registration is accepted in PCS1x. The field becomes the critical link for a series of successive data transactions from rotation number allotted by customs to advance manifest and load plan filed by shipping agents with ports to bills of entry; shipping bills and arrival, departure manifests filed with customs.
Live API enables instantaneous data exchange and nil data loss henceforth. Additional 12 API is all critical pieces of the puzzle will be released soon.
Senior officials at IPA said, “Customs top leadership has been very proactive and have supported the API initiative all the way. There was some delay due to Covid-19 challenges and we are slightly behind timeline for go-live due rigorous testing at ICEGATE and PCS1x end, but with the first API for VCN now live – we should expect to see the other 12 API’s put to production in quick succession”
IPA & PCS1x
“PCS 1X has grown in scope and penetration over the last year and a half with significantly better utilisation than its predecessor, which was deployed on-premise at major ports in 2006. Since going live in December 2018, the new PCS1x has tripled the user base and reduced the turnaround time of (customs) batch mode of EDI exchange from 30 minutes to less than 4 minutes.
IPA was also recently in the news for enabling electronic bills of lading and other trade documents via global platforms such as CargoX and essDOCS which are now being integrated with PCS1x. PCS1x statistics during lockdown show growing utilisation of the platform and increased adoption by even the private ports.
Indian customs has been in the news for their recent drive for electronic documents and shift from paper vide recent circulars announcing that paper shipping bills will no longer be accepted beyond the declared notice period.