The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) has released guidelines for the nationwide implementation of 1-Assessment, a web-based queue management application that provides bias-free assessment by randomly assigning appraisers and examiners to filed goods declarations.
Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña on October 11 signed Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 17-2018 to implement in all ports 1-Assessment, formerly called the Enhanced Goods Declaration Verification System (EGDVS).
The order takes effect after 15 calendar days from publication in a newspaper of general circulation.
It must be noted though that since August 2, 1-Assessment has been in pilot implementation at the Ports of Subic, Batangas and Clark. Its implementation at the country’s biggest ports–Port of Manila, Manila International Container Port, Cebu, and Davao–has also been deferred to early next year, in concession to a request for such by the Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc.
1-Assessment is the second phase of the goods declaration verification system (GDVS). The GDVS was pilot-tested and implemented October 2017 under CMO 31-2017 at the Manila International Container Terminal and Port of Manila.
To implement 1-Assessment, the customs commissioner shall issue the corresponding memoranda to the different district collectors informing them of the schedule of the roll-out of the system in their respective ports.
Promoting zero contact
EGDVS, which is separate from BOC’s electronic-to-mobile (e2m) system, has as one of its goals preventing corruption by institutionalizing the “Zero Contact Policy,” and suppressing the “suki system” in the cargo clearance process through the random assignment of examiners and appraiser to a given goods declaration.
It also aims to enable importers and customs brokers to obtain real-time information on the status of their goods declaration, and seeks to define the liability of customs brokers and customs personnel involved in the cargo clearance process while strengthening their accountability.
CMO 17-2018 supersedes CMO 31-2017 and supplements provisions of CMO 10-2018, which implemented the pilot-testing of 1-Assessment in the ports of Clark, Subic, and Batangas.
1-Assessement under CMO 17-2018 shall apply only to import consumption entries cleared under the formal entry process in all ports of entry.
Shipments under the Super Green Lane, articles withdrawn from customs bonded warehouses for local consumption, wastage under the bonded warehouse regime and jet operation losses, goods entered as temporary imports for subsequent re-exportation, and deferred payment of government are exempt from 1-Assessment, even if cleared under the formal entry process.
Stakeholders may check the status of their goods declaration online using their mobile phones, personal computers, or designated kiosks using the URL 1-assessment-broker.customs.gov.ph/kiosk.
Submission through VASPs, AIPs
Under CMO 17-2018, the importer, customs broker, or declarant shall lodge the goods declaration through any accredited value-added service provider/accredited information provider (VASP/AIP).
The VASP/AIP will then send the e2m-lodged goods declaration through web service to the 1-Assessment system.
Using the URL, the customs broker shall log in to the 1-Assessment system using his or her tax identification number, customs client number, and password initially supplied by the system, retrieve the goods declaration from the system by choosing the correct port and goods declaration number (entry numbers), and then attach the high-quality electronic (100-200) dpi images of the mandatory original documents.
Only pdf, png, or jpg files of up to 5MB in size can be attached per file, CMO 17-2018 notes.
The customs broker must then submit the notarized copy of the single administrative document (SAD), notarized supplemental declaration on valuation (SDV), and the original hard copies of the mandatory documents to the customs officer assigned at the Entry Processing Unit (EPU) or its equivalent office in the port.
The EPU customs officer, customs examiner, and customs appraiser will then follow the procedures set forth in CMO 17-2018. The order also includes the step-by-step procedure to be taken by the customs broker if customs officers found discrepancies in the documents submitted to the system.
If 1-Assessment is unavailable due to network interruption or other technical concerns, BOC’s Management Information System and Technology Group (MISTG) site manager shall inform the MISTG deputy commissioner of the situation. Depending on the severity of the problem as assessed by the Technical Support Division (TSD), the MISTG deputy commissioner may allow manual assignment of goods declaration within the affected port until the problem is resolved as advised by the TSD and MISTG site manager.
Assigning, reassigning protocol
Another feature of 1-Assessment is that if goods declaration has been assigned and remains unattended for two hours, the Assessment Chief shall click the “reassign” button and the system will re-assign the declaration to another available customs examiner.
For goods declaration assigned to a customs appraiser that remains unattended for two hours, the designated appraiser supervisor shall have the sole task of reassigning the goods declaration by using the “reassign” button. The system shall randomly reassign it to another available appraiser.
Any person or entity who obstructs or attempts to obstruct the implementation of CMO 17-2018 and its related rules and issuances, or who assists in such obstruction, or allows himself or herself to be used in committing obstruction, shall be subject to the appropriate civil, criminal, and/or administrative penalties.
In addition, under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, and Civil Service laws, rules and regulations, any BOC official or employee found to have violated any of the provisions of CMO 17-2018, or committed acts against the order’s effective implementation, shall be immediately relieved, transferred to another office, or assigned a less sensitive position in BOC. – Roumina Pablo