The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) has issued a new set of accreditation requirements for importers. This follows a Department of Finance (DOF) directive returning the sole authority to accredit importers and customs brokers to the BOC.
The new requirements do not yet include those for customs brokers.
In an online advisory posted on March 13, BOC said the new requirements for importer accreditation are the following:
- Application form (notarized and completely filled out) signed all pages by the applicant and must be printed or typewritten;
- Bureau of Customs Officer Receipt (BCOR) evidencing payment of application fee (green copy);
- Corporate secretary certificate (for corporation)/affidavit (for sole proprietorship)/partnership resolution for designated signatories in the import entries (with sample original signatures);
- Original copy of National Bureau of Investigation Clearance of Applicant (issued within three months prior to the date of application);
- For sole proprietorship, income tax return (ITR) of the owner if new, and ITR of the business if renewal;
- Two valid government IDs (with picture) of applicant, president, principal, responsible officers and authorized signatories (clear copy);
- Latest General Information Sheet/Department of Trade and Industry registration(for sole proprietorship)/Articles of Partnership (for partnership); Cooperative Development Authority (for cooperatives);
- Personal profile of applicant, president, principal, responsible officers and authorized signatories (with 2×2 pictures-used photo paper)
- Company profile with pictures of office and warehouse premises with proper signage;
- Printed Client Profile Registration System (CPRS) profile of application and updated email notification of “stored” CPRS profile;
- Previous Certificate of Accreditation (for renewal);
- License/permit/accreditation from concerned agency, when applicable, i.e., food (Food and Drug Administration), drugs (Bureau of Food and Drugs), meat (National Meat Inspection Service), rice (National Food Authority), and sugar (Sugar Regulatory Authority);
- Indorsement from the Collector, if applicable.
Last month, the DOF issued Department Order (DO) No. 11-2018, which states that the “authority to accredit and register customs brokers and importers is reverted solely to the Bureau of Customs for purposes of simplification of process”, pursuant to Section 1200 of Republic Act No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
Prior to this, importers and customs brokers must first secure clearance certificates from BOC’s sister agency, Bureau of Internal Revenue, before they can register with BOC. DOF is the mother agency of BIR and BOC.
BIR since March 1 has stopped accepting applications for importer’s and customs broker’s clearance certificates.
DO 11-2018 also mandates that BOC transmit to BIR every quarter the list of approved/accredited customs brokers and importers for post-accreditation validation of tax compliance.
“In case of any findings of tax deficiency or non-compliance, the BIR must notify the BOC of such findings,” DO 11-2018 notes.
The new order repeals DOs 12-2014 and 18-2014, both issued in 2014, which mandated the two-step accreditation.
The accreditation process was changed four years ago to weed out non-complying importers and customs brokers and minimize smuggling. However, it met much opposition from stakeholders, especially during the first months of implementation amid delays and confusion about the new process, as well as concern with the many requirements needed to secure a clearance certificate from BIR. – Roumina Pablo
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