ADVISORY:

COMELEC emphasized the last day of filing for Certificate of Authority to Transport Chemicals being 29 May 2019.

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) reminded entities engaged in the transport of chemicals that it will accept applications for Certificate of Authority to Transport (CA-TT) chemicals until 29 May 2019 which is the last day of filing of applications.

The CATT must be secured by said entities following the implementation of nationwide gun ban covering the period 13 January 2019 to 12 June 2019.

The reminder aims to prevent any delay in the clearance of shipments at the border or transportation of chemicals from 30 May to 12 June 2019, after the deadline of submission of applications. The COMELEC committed to process and issue CA-TT within 10 days from submission of complete documentary requirements. For the public’s guidance. -ARB

BOC to implement ASEAN Electronic Certificate of Origin (e-CO)

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is set to implement the ASEAN electronic Certificate of Origin (e-CO) following the issuance of Customs Memorandum Order (CMO15-2019) which provides guidelines on the operational procedures in implementing e-CO.

The Order was issued pursuant to the Operational Certification Procedure (OCP) of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and in compliance with the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA). It aims to facilitate the application, processing, issuance, and transmission of e-CO for export products and the receipt of e-CO for imported products by utilizing the TradeNet system (tradenet.gov.ph).

The e-CO refers to the ATIGA Form D which is an international trade document attesting that goods in a particular export shipment were wholly obtained, produced, manufactured, or processed in a particular country. It will be transmitted electronically between ASEAN Member States (AMS) through the ASEAN Single Window (ASW).

Meanwhile, the TradeNet will cover the functions of the Philippine National Single Window (NSW). It will serve as an automated permit, licensing,  and clearance system integrated into one platform for 66 Trade Regulatory Government Agencies (TRGAs) and 10 economic zones.

Application and Submission of e-CO to ASEAN Members States (AMS)

To access the TradeNet system, exporters and importers shall create TradeNet Account and  company profile with their respective usernames and passwords. Once the Pre-Evaluation Report (PER) of export product is completed by the authorized Customs personnel, it shall be uploaded to the TradeNet system, along with the List of Pre-Evaluated Goods of each newly approved applications for reference by all ports.

The exporters must then submit their application for outbound e-CO through the TradeNet system and attach all documentary requirements by uploading it to the system. If approved, the exporters will receive an email containing a downloadable and printable file for the e-CO. Otherwise, the Exporter/s will be informed of the reason for disapproval through email and may file another application for e-CO.Since the full electronic sharing of e-CO among AMS is not yet operational and while the AMS are addressing all technical failures, “the Exporter shall download then print the e-ATIGA Form D, place his or her signature in the appropriate space, and submit the system-generated ATIGA Form D to the Bureau (BOC) for manual execution of signature and seal”.

The Export Coordination Division of the BOC is mandated to submit the approved e-CO to the ASW Gateway. The ASW will in turn send the e-CO to the importing AMS, while the latter must notify the BOC of the utilization status of the e-CO.

Pilot Testing and Full Implementation of e-CO
To commence the implementation of the Order, a Pilot Testing on processing and issuance of e-CO using the TradeNet platform shall be conducted in all ports and sub-ports. During the live testing, the Exporters are required to apply for the issuance of CO both electronically throughtradenet.gov.ph and manually using the Paper ATIGA Form D. The Order explains that it is a precautionary measure in case the outbound e-ATIGA Form D fails to transmit through the ASW Gateway to the receiving AMS.

The Deputy Commissioner for Management Information System and Technology Group is authorized to declare the start of full implementation of the ASEAN e-CO. As such, no outbound and inbound Paper ATIGA Form D shall be processed and accepted, except for valid circumstances which include system downtime and loss of network connectivity exceeding two hours.-ARB

Exporters urged to conduct risk-assessment of dual-use products

Exporters and manufacturers are urged by the Strategic Trade Management Office (STMO) to conduct risk assessment of their products that may be of dual-use goods, otherwise known as strategic goods.

Dual-use goods are items, software, or technology which can be used for both civil and military end-use. These goods are listed in the National Strategic Goods List (NSGL). Other types of strategic goods are military goods and nationally controlled goods.

Strategic goods is defined by the Strategic Trade Management Act (STMA) as “products that for security reasons or due to international agreements, are considered to be of such military importance that their export is either prohibited altogether or subject to specific conditions”. These products are “generally suitable to be used for military purposes or for the production of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction)”.

To determine if the goods are of dual-use, exporters may refer to the NSGL, ask the product manufacturer or request classification from the STMO.

Exporters of dual-use goods are required to register and secure an exporter authorization or license from the STMO. Registration of exporters, as announced by the STMO in a forum, will be in the last quarter of 2019, while the exporter authorization is scheduled to be implemented in the third quarter of 2020.

The STMO, a bureau under the Department of Trade and Industry, is mandated by the STMA to regulate such goods by issuing “authorization/ licenses for the export, import, re-export, transit, transshipment, and provision of related services such as brokering, transporting, financing and providing technical assistance of strategic goods”.

Also covered by the STMA are the transit, transshipment, re-export, import, and reassignment of strategic goods. The schedule of regulating such activities is still to be announced by the STMO.

Non-compliance of the Act by the exporters will risk them seizure, delays, fines, imprisonment and inclusion in the denials list/ watchlist.

The STMA, otherwise known as Republic Act No. 10697, “An Act Preventing the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction by Managing the Trade in Strategic Goods, the Provision of Related Services, and for Other Purposes,” was enacted to enforce measures to establish domestic controls to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery from or within the Philippines. (ARB)

EU Requires Exporters of GSP products to be registered

Effective this year, exporters of products under the European Union (EU) Generalized System of Preference (GSP) – are required to be registered to the Registered Exporters System (REX).

The system allows exporters to issue self-certifications of the origin of goods  to the EU under the GSP Program.

The REX replaces the current system of origin certification based on certificates of origin issued by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

However, the rules of determining the origin of good in the EU GSP scheme remain unchanged with the application of the REX System.

The global transition period from the current system of origin certification to the REX system started on 01 January 2017 and will last until 30 June 2020.

There are three (3) easy steps for exporters to register in the REX system: (1) The exporter fills in (electronically/ on paper) an application and submits it to the BOC; (2) If the application is complete, BOC encodes it in the REX system, assign a REX number, a registration date and a validity date; and (3) BOC informs the exporter of the registration or non-registration within seven (7) working days after receipt of the complete set of documents by the Export Control Division (ECD) of the BOC.

The following documents are needed  to be submitted by the exporter to BOC: latest income tax return, Unique Reference Number (URN) for PEZA locators and Client Profile Registration System (CPRS) for non-PEZA locators, business permit, SEC/DTI registration, list of products applied for authorization to make invoice declaration and product evaluation report.

Exporters who are not manufacturers or producers, must have prior knowledge on how the goods were manufactured or produced and that they comply with the origin rules applied under Annex 22-03 in GSP. Finally, registered exporters shall be notified about the results of the application and shall be assigned with a REX number within seven (7) working days after receipt of the complete set of documents by the ECD. (GTM)

COMELEC advises to ensure compliance of requirements of Certificate of Authority to Transport chemical during gun ban

Entities engaged in the transport of chemicals are reminded to double check and ensure compliance of the application requirements prior to submission to Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in securing the Certificate of Authority to Transport (CA-TT) chemicals. The completeness of documents submitted will lessen if not totally eliminate the chance of denial of application during the gun ban period.

Mr. Arnie Joseph Anastacio, COMELEC representative, presented in a stakeholders forum, the common reasons for denial of applications. These include the following:

  1. Signatory/Applicant is not authorized to apply (based on Board Resolution);
  2. No Certificate of Employment (COE) and Authorization submitted (for Liaison Officer);
  3. Multiple Origin/Destination Encoded/Written on Application Form;
  4. Application Form Entries, Permit, Radio Message and Endorsement Letter from PNP Not Matching; and
  5. No Proof of Business (for Sole Proprietor)

Specifically, Anastacio reminded that “In cases wherein the applicant will PERSONALLY go to the CBFSP (Committee on the Ban of Firearms and Security Personnel) Office and file the application”, he must submit COE and Board Resolution authorizing him to apply. On the other hand, if the application is submitted through a liaison officer, he must submit his COE and authorization letter, along with the COE of the applicant and a Board Resolution authorizing the same to apply in behalf of the company.

He also clarified that the Board Resolution/Secretary’s Certificate must be notarized and the purpose shall specifically stated for CA-TT application

It was also reiterated that the name and signature of the applicant in the application form should match with the applicant indicated in the Board Resolution. He also emphasized that the Place of Origin in the same application form must be inside the Philippine territory (e.g. Port of Manila/MICP) and not the Port of Origin (e.g. Japan port).

Mr. Anastacio also stressed that the entries in the application form, PNP permit (permit to transport), Radio Message, and Endorsement Letter from PNP should match at all times.

Lastly, in case the applicant is a sole proprietor, he must submit his COE, certified true copy of the Business/Mayor’s Permit, certified true copy of the DTI registration/certification and the COE of the liaison officer (if the application is submitted by the liaison officer).

The gun ban covers the period 13 January to 12 June 2019. The COMELEC also advised that the last day of accepting CA-TT application is on 29 May 2019.

COMELEC regulates movement of chemicals during gun ban

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) now regulates the transport and delivery of chemicals following the implementation of the gun ban covering the period 13 January to 12 June 2019.  Under COMELEC Resolution No. 10446 that provides the guidelines during the gun ban, chemicals are classified as explosives.

During the said period, bearing, carrying and transporting firearms, explosives or other deadly weapons is prohibited.

However, entities engaged in the transport, manufacture, import, export, purchase, deal in or sell of Firearms, Ammunitions, Explosives or their components who wants to be exempted of this prohibition are required to secure Certificate of Authority to Transport (CA-TT) chemicals from COMELEC.

Concerned entities may apply for the CA-TT by submitting the following:

  1. Accomplished application forms (CBFSP Form No. 2019-04 ATT (3 copies) & Form 19A04);
  2. Duly notarized Board Resolution;
  3. Certificate of Employment and Authorization of the applicant authorized by the Board;
  4. Original Permit to Transport issued by the Philippine National Police (PNP) with stamp “Not valid without COMELEC exemption;
  5. Endorsement Letter from the Firearms and Explosives Office of PNP; and
  6. Copy of official receipt of filing/processing fee to the COMELEC office.

Applicants are also advised to present and submit a Compact Disk (CD) containing the scanned copies of all documentary requirements and copies of the valid identification cards of the principal and authorized representative.

The COMELEC also encourages applicants to apply for accreditation “by proving their qualification of large-scale frequent operation and/or status as major industry stakeholder” through one-time submission of documentary requirements. Once accredited, applicants will no longer need to re-submit basic documents, thus, shorter turnaround time.

For more information and clarification, the COMELEC’s Committee on the Ban of Firearms and Security Personnel, responsible for the issuance of CA-TT, can be reached through telephone number (02) 400-0323.

Customs to curtail corruption via enhanced goods declaration system

 

 

 

 

 

In a bid to suppress corruption, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) is now in its second phase of pilot testing the implementation of the 1-Assessment System in selected ports in the country.

1-Assessment which is formerly known as Enhanced Goods Declaration Verification System (EGDVS) is a web-based application which will institutionalize the “Zero Contact Policy” in the cargo clearance process. The system will randomly assign Customs examiners and appraisers to goods declaration filed, thus, removing the “suki system”.

As such, examiners, appraisers and brokers can now only communicate through the 1-Assessment portal. Pursuant to Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and other related laws and regulations, Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 17-2018, which implements the system, provides sanction and penalties to violating parties. .

For transparency, the system also enables importers and brokers to obtain real-time status of their goods declaration lodged with the BOC.

The system will only cover “import consumption entries cleared under the formal entry process in all ports of entry.

Exempted from the 1-Assessment system, even if cleared under the formal entry process, are the (1) Super Green Lane shipments, (2) articles withdrawn from the Customs Bonded Warehouse for local consumption, (3) wastages under the Bonded Warehouse Regime and jet operation losses, (4) goods entered as temporary imports for subsequent re-exportation and (5) deferred payment of government.

To use the system, importers and brokers shall lodge their goods declaration through the Value Added Service Providers, who shall in turn transmit the E2M lodged goods declaration to the 1-Assessment system.

The brokers must then attach the supporting documents to the system. However, original hard copies of supporting documents and notarized copy of the Single Administrative Document (SAD) and Supplemental Declaration on Valuation shall be submitted to the Entry Processing Unit or equivalent office in the port for documents verification.

Another feature of the system is the randomly re-assignment of goods declaration that remained unattended for two hours.

The 1-Assessment system which is the second version of the EGDVS was already implemented at the Port of Manila and Manila International Container Port in October 2017.  Covered in the second-pilot implementation are the ports of Batangas, Clark, Limay, Subic and Surigao and the sub-ports of Bislig, Nasipit, Mariviles, Siain, Puerto Princesa and Bauan. Expected full implementation of the system will either be in December 2018 or in early 2019. (ARB)

Bureau of Customs to form multi-agency unit to address port issues

Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña announced that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will create a multi-agency body composed of government agencies and port stakeholders and users that will address issues hounding the private sector.

Various stakeholders discussed the recommendations and action plans for the implementation of the Terminal Appointment Booking System (TABS), the Anti-overloading Act, port congestion, turnaround time of trucks, return of empty containers, and issues with international shipping lines.

On TABS, the web-based booking platform for trucks at Manila International Container Port and Port of Manila, port users to extend the early arrival margin to three hours, and improve the system to promote transparency.

On Anti-overloading, stakeholders recommended the extension of moratorium period of 6 months on the implementation of the maximum Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) for Code 12-2 and Code 12-3. The stakeholders views that the law is inconsistent and not implemented properly because of redundancy of weighing exercises. It was proposed that there should be a mandatory weighing of laden containers prior to exit from the yards. Meanwhile, for long term solution, stakeholders recommend the amendment of the law’s implementing rules and regulations to increase the maximum allowable GVW.

On port congestion, multi-sectoral body is proposed to determine and declare any port congestion. Also, for overstaying of empty containers, stakeholders recommended to shorten the allowable stay of empties from 90 days to 60 days.

Other important recommendations are the following: (1) International Shipping Lines to put up or lease their own depots outside Metro Manila; (2) PEZA to possibly dedicate a space and designate a facility for the empty containers near to them; (3) International Shipping Lines to remove the unwarranted charges by specifying absolute container depot fees when returning empty containers; (4) BOC to initiate the implementation of rules and regulations to regulate the shipping lines.

To address the high cost of origin and destination charges of international shipping lines, the Export Development Council (EDC) together with other stakeholders endorsed a draft bill entitled “An act establishing guidelines for the application of local charges (origin and destination fees) imposed by international shipping lines to comply with existing laws and international standards (INCOTERMS)” to the House of Representatives Committee on Economic Affairs.

Ease of Doing Business Act of 2018 seen to shorten government processes

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law the Ease of Doing Business (EODB) and Efficient Government Service Delivery (EGSD) Act of 2018. The new law will shorten the number of days in processing permits and licenses of all business-related transactions in the Philippines.

Signed on May 28, Republic Act (RA) No. 11032 also includes stricter rules like the two-strike policy that any violation will warrant penalties and liabilities for government officials who fail to issue permits in the given period.

The provisions of the law were highlighted in the 6th Annual Ease of Doing Business Summit recently held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

RA 11032 amends Republic Act No. 9485, otherwise known as the Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007.

Under this Act, businesses can expect streamlined processes; reduced processing times from all government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs). Government agencies shall be made to comply with the prescribed processing time: three working days for simple transactions, seven working days for complex transactions, and 20 working days for highly technical transactions.

Apart from streamlining, the law also provides for the creation of a central business portal that will receive and capture application data on business-related transactions, while a Philippine business databank will provide LGUs and national government agencies access to information to verify the validity and existence of businesses. With this, businesses are not required to submit the same documentary requirement previously submitted

BOC issues requirements for importers, brokers accreditation

This is pursuant to Department Order No. 11-2018 issued by the Department of Finance last 9 February 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”.

The BOC also posted in its website the application forms for the accreditation. Said forms indicated that the applicant must also submit a list of Importable items with clear description in technical and tariff terms, estimated volumes and values for the next twelve (12) months.

Following the issuance of DO 11-2018, the BOC is now mandated to provide the BIR with a list of accredited importers and customs brokers for post-accreditation validation of tax compliance. In turn, the BIR shall notify immediately the BOC if there is a case of tax deficiency and non-compliance of accredited importers and customs brokers.

DO 11-2018 repealed DO 12-2014 and DO 18-2014 which required two-step accreditation process. Previous process requires importers and brokers to go through stringent verification procedure of BIR to secure Importers Clearance Certificate (ICC) and Brokers Clearance Certificate (BCC) respectively and submit the same as form part of the requirement of BOC accreditation.Since March 1, the Bureau of Internal Revenue has stopped accepting application for accreditation.