Under Revenue Memorandum Order No. 10-2014, dated February 10 and signed by Internal Revenue commissioner Kim Henares, importers and brokers need to seek an Importer Clearance Certificate (ICC) and Broker Clearance Certificate (BCC) from the BIR as the first stage of accreditation process that will enable them to import and transact business with Customs.
In the second and final stage of accreditation, importers and brokers will present the ICC and BCC to the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to be able to enter the customs premises.
The BOC has yet to issue a Customs Memorandum Order on the rules and regulations covering the second stage.
The accreditation of importers and brokers was imposed by the Department of Finance, the mother agency of BIR and BOC, under Department Order No. 12-2014 as part of the revamp of the customs bureau. The function was previously exercised by the BOC’s Interim Customs Accreditation Unit (ICARE).
The Accounts Receivable Monitoring Division (ARMD) of the BIR will receive all applications and supporting documents required by the BIR, according to the guidelines.
The ARMD will verify the accuracy of documents, determine the applicant’s compliance, find out if the applicant is using the Electronic Filing and Payment System or Inter-Active Forms system of the BIR in filing tax returns and paying taxes and has resolved tax cases; and monitor the accredited importers and brokers.
All applications for accreditations will have to be filed directly with the ARMD with applicants appearing personally at the unit.
Processing of application will take 15 working days. Once approved, the ICC and BCC will be valid for three years, unless revoked or cancelled earlier.
The ARMD will conduct periodic verification of compliance by accredited importers and brokers on a semestral basis or more often if necessary, RMO 10-2014 said.
BIR’s Systems Development Division (SDD) will develop a script for the regular extraction of data from existing BIR information technology systems to facilitate the ARMD’s conduct of the periodic compliance verification and tracking of, among others, data that will be transferred to the Data Warehouse Systems Operations Division (DWSD).
The DWSD will then check and accept the script developed by SDD for the regular extraction of tax compliance data of taxpayers who are applying for accreditation or who have been accredited after complying with the existing issuance on script turnover procedures and requirements.
Requirements under RMO 10-2014 are almost the same as those of the ICARE, such as a mayor’s permit and a certificate of good standing with the BIR.
The accreditation and disaccreditation of importers and customs brokers will be approved by the chief of the ARMD.
Disaccredited importers or brokers can file for a reaccreditation one year after being disaccredited. They can also file for reconsideration with the Internal Revenue commissioner on any decision of the assistant commissioner for Collection Service.
The ICC and BCC may also be cancelled or revoked by the BIR upon discovery of any valid or compelling causes or reasons to do so.
Valid accreditation certificates issued by the BOC’s ICARE unit prior to the order took effect will remain valid until their expiry dates, and must be renewed three months before the expiration.
Pending applications filed with ICARE will be transmitted to the BIR and be prioritized, but will be covered by the new accreditation policies and procedures.
Renewal applications submitted to ICARE that were pending when the DO No 12-2014 was issued will still be processed by the BOC, while applications for renewal will be treated as new applications by the BIR. –– Roumina M. Pablo
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