The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) has laid down guidelines for the recall, lifting, reconsideration, or setting aside of any order, decree, or decision of abandonment, citing the lack of any particular provision for this under the customs modernization law.
Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 17-2019 was issued “in the absence of a clear and specific provision under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) of 2016 on resolving a motion to recall/lift/reconsider/set aside any order/decree of abandonment issued by the district collector having jurisdiction over the goods/shipments…”
CMO 17-2019, signed by Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero on April 15, repeals or amends all inconsistent issuances, and is for strict compliance.
Under the order, the district collector shall strictly observe/comply with the implementation of Section 1129 (Abandonment, Kinds and Effects of) of the CMTA, in relation to Section 407 (Goods Declaration and Period of Filing) of this law.
According to Section 1129, imported goods are deemed abandoned if there is express or written notice to abandon from the importer; failure to file entry, under Section 407, within 15 days from discharge from the vessel of aircraft (may be extended for another 15 days upon request on valid grounds); failure to pay the duties and taxes 15 days after final assessment; failure to claim the importation within 30 days after payment; or failure to claim goods in customs bonded warehouse within the prescribed period.
CMO 17-2019 states that the district collector may initiate and decide abandonment proceedings that may result in an order, decree, or decision of abandonment being issued, upon strict compliance with the notices required under Sections 1129 and 407 of the CMTA, and CMO 16-2019.
CMO 16-2019 provides internal guidelines on sending of notice under Section 1129.
Once the district collector issues an order, decree, or decision of abandonment, the aggrieved party may file with the issuing district office a written motion to recall/lift/reconsider/set aside. The motion must be filed within 15 days of receiving the order/decree/decision and specifically state on what grounds and the timeliness of the filing.
The district collector shall have the authority to resolve any motion to recall, lift, reconsider, or set aside any order, decree, or decision of abandonment within five working days from the filing of the motion. Thereafter, the district collector shall transmit to the Office of the Commissioner (OCOM) for confirmation of the district collector’s decision within two days from its promulgation/issuance.
The decision of the district collector, duly confirmed by the OCOM, shall become final and executor within 15 days of the cargo owner/importer/consignee receiving the questioned order/decree/decision.
This is unless the final decision is appealed with the Customs commissioner in the manner and time specified under Section 114 of the CMTA. The section allows appeal from any decision/omission made by BOC pertaining to an importation, exportation, or any legal claim.
The appeal should set forth new or specific arguments or grounds not raised in the motion to recall/lift/reconsider/set aside any order/decree/decision of abandonment and with arguments which were simply glossed over, overlooked and/or not treated at all in the appealed decision.
Since there is no specific provision on appeal to the Customs commissioner in abandonment proceedings, Section 114 (Right of appeal, forms, and ground) of the CMTA shall apply.
Once the order, decree, or decision becomes final and executor, the subject shipments shall be immediately disposed of by the district collector pursuant to Section 1141 (Mode of disposition) of the CMTA.
In case of public auction, the district collector shall apply with the mandatory requirement of publication prescribed in Section 1141, and strictly comply with CMO 02-2019, or the guidelines on the conduct of public auction and setting the floor price of goods. – Roumina Pablo