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China Airlines Tests Paperless Cargo Customs Clearance

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China Airlines has marked a major milestone in its efforts to speed up cargo service by successfully testing a new paperless import customs clearance system implemented by the Taipei Customs Office.

The system successfully passed its inaugural test on 1 December 2010, using four manifests transported on CAL flight CI-722 from Kuala Lumpur to Taoyuan International Airport.

The test is just the latest step in CALs efforts to implement fully paperless import and export cargo clearance procedures in step with global environmental trends. In 2007, CAL joined IATAs  (IATA) e-Freight Message Improvement Program, then in 2009, CAL responded to IATAs e-Freight project by implementing fully paper-free manifests for export clearances bound for Hong Kong, becoming Taiwans first IATA e-Freight qualified carrier. Starting this year, CAL has cooperated with Taipei Customs Office and private contractors to implement a new paperless system for clearance of goods imported into Taiwan.

For the initial test, shippers and receivers successfully exchanged information traditionally recorded on paper manifests and reported the data to customs authorities, which processed the information by computer instead of by hand, saving time and cost and reducing paper consumption.

The initial test passed verification checks with the Taipei Customs Office, as well as shippers and receivers of the goods. The test also proved that CAL is fully capable of going paperless when clearing both exported and imported shipments.

While the system will continue being tested on the Kuala Lumpur-Taoyuan route, CAL said it will work to expand paperless cargo import clearance capability to other major routes in the near future.

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