The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) has begun implementing on June 15 the seven-day period for lodgement of goods declaration.
BOC spokesperson and Manila International Container Port (MICP) district collector Atty. Erastus Sandino Austria, in a text message to Asia Customs & Trade on June 14, said the customs bureau is implementing Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 27-2019, “as instructed by the commissioner.”
He said stakeholders with questions on implementation, especially on the availment of the provisional goods declaration, may reach BOC “through the collection districts.”
Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. (CCBI) president Adones Carmona, in a phone interview with Asia Customs & Trade on June 14, said he has encouraged CCBI members to comply with the policy. He added customs brokers can always seek help from the chamber if BOC disallows availment of the provisional goods declaration. CCBI had earlier agreed to the shorter period for goods lodgement declaration provided the BOC allowed provisional goods declaration.
CMO 27-2019, dated June 3 and signed on June 4 by Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, implements the shortened period for lodging of goods declaration–seven days from the date of discharge of the last package from the vessel or aircraft from the previous 15 days. The new order also provides instructions on provisional goods declaration.
Earlier order suspension
The order repeals other inconsistent orders, as well as CMO 18-2019, which was issued last April and had the same orders as CMO 27-2019. Notably, CMO 18-2019 was suspended following stakeholders’ concern that certain processes took time to complete, making compliance with the shortened period difficult.
In a May 16 meeting with BOC, stakeholders agreed to have CMO 18-2019 re-implemented on June 1 on certain conditions, but the plan did not push through. BOC then said the shortened period for goods declaration lodgement would be implemented on June 15.
Like CMO 18-2019 before it, CMO 27-2019 was issued in response to calls to BOC by importers and exporters who said delays in the discharge and deliveries of their shipments were the effects of port congestion “in the various ports resulting [in] lost revenue and foregone opportunities.”
The order is in keeping with the customs bureau’s mandate to facilitate trade, optimize revenue generation, further ease port congestion, streamline processes, and protect interest of its stakeholders.
According to CMO 27-2019, the correct data should be inputted in the “DISCHARGE OF LAST PACKAGE” filed in BOC’s electronic-to-mobile (e2m) system, and this information shall be implemented and closely monitored by the Piers and Inspection Division-Bay Service chief, or the equivalent units, “to avoid undue abandonment of shipments in the system.”
If the declarant does not have all the information or supporting document to complete the goods declaration, the lodging of a provisional goods declaration may be allowed in accordance with Section 403 (Provisional goods declaration) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA). In this connection, the e2m system will be adjusted to cover payment of duties and taxes, states CMO 27-2019.
In implementing CMO 27-2019, certain shipments may be tagged abandoned by the updated e2m system. In such instances, a report on those shipments tagged as abandoned shall be provided to BOC’s Management Information System and Technology Group so the shipments can be untagged as abandoned by the concerned district collector.
CMO 27-2019 noted that after the goods declaration is lodged, district collectors shall immediately examine the goods, when necessary, pursuant to Section 419 (Examination of goods) of the CMTA. After assessment by the district collectors, stakeholders may immediately pay the duties and taxes. – Roumina Pablo