The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) will be contained in about 42 customs administrative orders (CAOs) that the government plans to complete by 2018, according to the Philippine Department of Finance (DOF).
Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko, who heads DOF’s Revenue Operations Group, said that 42 draft CAOs have already been posted on the CMTA microsite www.dof.gov.ph/cmta_irr, with eight already signed.
She said some CAOs may end up being consolidated or being broken down into separate customs administrative or memorandum orders.
The voluminous text of the CMTA, which runs to about 200 pages, prompted the DOF to issue the IRRs through CAOs released by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on a per-topic basis.
Public consultations being conducted by BOC since August last year and the draft CAOs uploaded to the CMTA microsite, which is accessible through the DOF website, enable all stakeholders involved to comment and provide their inputs online.
“We did it online so people outside Manila can comment. It’s a good process,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez said.
Among CAOs already issued by the BOC are those on the establishment of the Authorized Economic Operator Program (CAO 5-2017), clearance of postal items (CAO 3-2017), customs clearance of accompanied and unaccompanied baggage of travelers and crew (CAO 01-2017), conditionally tax- and/or duty-exempt importation of returning residents and overseas Filipino workers (CAO 06-2016), consolidated shipment of duty- and tax-free balikbayan boxes (CAO 05-2016), establishment of an advance ruling system for valuation and rules of origin (CAO-03-2016) and imported goods with de minimis value and not subject to duties and taxes (CAO 02-2016).
“The CAOs relating to the CMTA that are issued by the BOC and approved by the Secretary [of Finance] are issued on a per-topic basis. So there will be, more or less, about 42 CAOs,” Tionko said.
Among the draft CAOs still under study or revision include those involving the clearance process for goods entered under the Customs Bonded Warehousing System, rules and regulations for customs transit in customs territory, compulsory acquisition, outsourcing of non-sovereign customs function to private entities, rewards to persons instrumental in the actual collection of additional revenues, assignment and reassignment and designations of BOC personnel, customs container control division, and customs facilities and warehouses and security to guarantee payment of duties and taxes.
Also under study are the draft CAOs on the temporary storage of goods, marking duty, Accredited Information Processors, customs service fees, on-board couriers, registration of importers, express shipments, cargo manifests, seizure and forfeiture proceedings, free zones and transit, disposal of cargoes, relief consignment, customs jurisdiction and exercise of police authority, and dispute settlement and appellate remedies, among others.
The CMTA microsite also contains information on the proposed IRRs of the CMTA and templates for suggesting recommendations.
Republic Act No. 10863, also known as the CMTA, was signed into law on May 30, 2016 to modernize BOC rules and procedures so as to facilitate trade, cut red tape and corruption, and improve the delivery of BOC-related services.
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