The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) has released guidelines for the advance submission of the manifest and other documents to its new Advanced Manifest System (AMS).
Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 06-2018, signed on May 7, prescribes guidelines that, among others, mandates transmission—electronically and in portable document format (pdf)—of advance manifest and other documents (copies of bills of lading, commercial invoice and packing list) from foreign carriers, shippers, consignees and their authorized agents.
Late submission of requirements will incur penalties of less than ₱100,000.00 but not more than ₱300,000.00.
The order took effect on May 7 and covers all sea and air freight in all Philippine ports of entry.
It is pursuant to Customs Administrative Order (CAO) No. 01-2016, which requires the advance submission of cargo information to provide the BOC more time to assess incoming cargoes.
It must be noted that AMS is an entirely separate system from BOC’s electronic-to-mobile (e2m) system, which also requires electronic submission of the cargo manifest.
The new order does not follow the timelines for submission under CAO 01-2016, but instead adopts prescribed timelines under Republic Act (RA) No. 10863, or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
The AMS also does not require inputting of goods description, which is a requirement in e2m. Under AMS, the advance cargo manifest (of shipping lines and airlines) or consolidated cargo manifest (CCM of freight forwarders and consolidators) should be saved in a pdf file; shippers can attach as many pdfs as necessary.
Use of the AMS requires additional payment to the BOC-accredited value-added service providers.
Cargo information provided to AMS will be used in BOC’s risk management, anti-terrorism, law enforcement, and other related activities, CMO 06-2018 said.
The AMS allows qualified importers or their authorized representatives to process in advance the goods declaration before the shipment arrives and to determine the pre-assessed customs duties, taxes, other charges, and other documentary requirements.
BOC Management Information System and Technology Group (MISTG) deputy commissioner Noel Patrick Prudente, in a presentation to stakeholders on May 10, said the system will equip regulatory, intelligence, and law enforcement units of BOC with tools to enhance profiling and decision-support capabilities.
He said the advance manifest submission is in compliance with the SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade of the World Customs Organization (WCO), to which the Philippines is a member.
For sea freight, a true and complete copy of the cargo manifest and CCM must be electronically sent in advance by the shipping company, non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC), freight forwarder, cargo consolidator, or their authorized representatives within the cut-off period prior to the arrival of the carrying vessel at the port of entry.
If the transit time from port of origin to port of entry is at least 72 hours, the cargo manifest and CCM must be submitted electronically to BOC 24 hours before the carrying vessel arrives at the port of entry. If the transit time from port of origin to port of entry is less than 72 hours, submission of cargo manifest and CCM is 12 hours before the carrying vessel reaches the port of entry.
For air freight, the cargo manifest and CCM must be electronically submitted in advance by the airline, air express operator, air freight forwarder, and de-consolidator also within the cut-off period before the aircraft arrives at the port of entry.
If the port of loading is in Asia, the electronic cargo manifest and CCM must be submitted one hour before the aircraft arrives. If the port of loafing is other than Asia, the submission must be four hours before the aircraft lands.
The electronic submission of advanced cargo and CCM shall be in searchable PDF through BOC-accredited value-added service providers (VASPs)/accredited information processors (AIPs) to the AMS and Cargo Targeting System (CTS), a cargo manifest risk assessment solution developed by the WCO to enable member countries to manage risk and facilitate trade.
CMO 06-2018 pointed out that the submission of searchable PDF of the cargo manifest and CCM in the AMS/CTS is different from the BOC e2m system.
The submission of the PDF cargo manifest and CCM by the freight forwarder, consolidator, or shipping line’s co-loader may be done even prior to the submission of the vessel operator, the order said.
Cargo description in the cargo manifest and CCM must be precise to enable BOC to identify goods intended for discharge from the port and take pre-emptive action if needed, CMO 06-2018 noted.
Generic descriptions stated in the cargo manifest of the carrying vessel such as FAK (freight all kinds), general cargo and/or similar terminologies will not be allowed and will be considered as failure to exhibit the required document.
Only the master bill of lading (B/L) or master air waybill (AWB) is allowed to use cargo description as “consolidated balikbayan box” (for freight forwarder handling balikbayan boxes only) or “consolidated cargo” (for freight forwarder handling non-balikbayan boxes).
In addition to the mandatory information required, the cargo manifest and CCM submitted to BOC must include information on the value of the goods and freight charges.
BOC assured that the collection, recording, storage, maintenance, processing, sharing of data and information, and maintenance of data and information obtained through the AMS is secure and consistent with Republic Act No. 10173, or the Data Privacy Act.
Penalties for late submissions
Failure to provide the required information within the prescribed period will redound to fines prescribed under Section 1412 (Failure to supply advance and requisite manifests) of the CMTA, without prejudice to other recourse the BOC may pursue against the delinquent shipping line, NVOCC, consolidator, co-loader, or breakbulk agent.
MISTG System Management Division chief Nomie Gonzales, in an interview with PortCalls after the stakeholders’ forum, said some stakeholders are asking for at least a month to pilot-test the AMS without penalties imposed. Gonzales said this concern will be elevated to Customs commissioner Isidro Lapeña.
Under CMTA’s Section 1412, failure to transmit the electronic manifest within the required time makes the owner, operator, or agent of the vessel or aircraft liable for a fine not less than P100,000 but not more than P300,000.
Section 1412 also prescribed that if the transit time from the port of origin is at least 72 hours, the shipping or forwarding agent of the carrier or the vessel who fails to submit the manifest at least 24 hours before entry will pay the same rates.
Late submission of cargo manifest and CCM is only excusable and not subject to penalty in cases of force majeure or other unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the carrier or his agent; technical problems at BOC; and other similar circumstances.
In any of the allowed circumstances, the cargo manifest/CCM may be submitted within 24 hours of the cessation of the incident.
The shipping company, NVOCC, freight forwarder, cargo consolidator, or their authorized agents also need to submit an electronic copy of the master B/L and house B/L/HAWB, as the case may be, in searchable PDF through the VASP/IAP to the AMS at least 24 hours before the vessel or aircraft arrives.
The consignee has to ensure the submission of the copy of B/L to BOC or face liability for non-compliance subject to the payment of fines, CMO 06-2018 noted.
The consignee or its authorized agent has to obtain from the shipper the commercial invoice and packing list for submission in searchable PDF to AMS at least 24 hours prior to the arrival of the vessel or aircraft. The consignee will also be liable for non-compliance of the shipper.
In addition, CMO 06-2018 provides the procedures for submitting the stowage plan and containers discharging list, with timelines same as for sea freight.
For the load port survey, the accredited cargo surveying company has to submit the searchable PDF of the report in the AMS at least 24 hours before arrival of the vessel. Currently, LPS is only required for bulk and breakbulk shipments.
Cargoes/containers not listed in the IFM but recorded in the stowage plan will be covered by a supplemental manifest, submitted not later than 48 hours from date of discharge of the last package from the vessel. A supplement manifest for cargoes/containers not listed in the IFM and stowage plan may be sent not later than 24 hours from date of discharge of the last package from the vessel.
For air, the supplemental manifest needs to be submitted no later than 24 hours from date of discharge of the last package from the aircraft.
The advance information of cargoes destined to the Philippines will help the BOC track and trace the movement of cargoes from the port of origin and evaluate the nature and degree of risk of incoming shipments.
“The new guidelines on cargo manifest will allow a qualified importer to process in advance the goods declaration prior to the arrival of the shipment and pre-assess the customs duties, taxes, and other charges as well as other needed documentary requirements.
“More so, the cargo information will be used to profile the risk of cargoes while increasing the efficiency of the clearance process of low-risk shipments. Thus, the release of legitimated cargoes will be expedited,” Customs commissioner Isidro Lapena said. – Roumina Pablo
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