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system, even if cleared under the formal entry process, are the (1) Super Green Lane shipments, (2) articles withdrawn from the Customs Bonded Warehouse for local consumption, (3) wastages under the Bonded Warehouse Regime and jet operation losses, (4) goods entered as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.