21 Jun 2005

Ports Authority in CNMI wants to be US transhipment point

6:53 pm on 21 June 2005

The Commonwealth Ports Authority in Northern Marianas is proposing changes to ensure its financial survival.

The US lifted its global quota in January which used to limit garment imports from foreign countries to fit in with World Trade Organisation regulations.

CPA Executive Director, Carlos Salas, says the end of the quota led to three Saipan garment manufacturers closing down and other factories downsizing operations.

Mr Salas says as a result outgoing freight has dropped by 15 percent.

He says the ports face major cutbacks unless they can be appointed as a transhipment point for the mainland.

"What we are trying to do is to try do have Port of Saipan serve as some kind of transhipping point for shipping companies, shipping goods out of China, cargo that are east-bound to the US mainland. The Port of Saipan could, as a US port, serve as a pre-clearance point for US-bound cargo."

CPA Executive Director, Carlos Salas.