Home » Customs & Trade » BOC decision on RA 9280 implementation out soon

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) will soon render a decision on whether or not it will immediately implement Republic Act 9280 or the Customs Brokers Act of 2004.

“The issue on the full implementation of RA 9280 is now with the BOC legal department on my direct orders. I am expecting to issue my decision within the week based on the recommendation of the legal department,” Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales said in an interview at the sidelines of the agency’s 106th anniversary.

“In the next couple of days, we will see if there is really a need to implement fully RA 9280 at the BOC even if there are several amendments being pushed at both Houses of Congress to allow corporate practice,” he added.

The BOC opinion is seen to address the burning issues of whether it will allow the lodgment of entries and the employment of brokers by corporations.

Since 2004, the Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. (CCBI), the Professional Regulatory Board for Custom Brokers, the Professional Custom Brokers Association of the Philippines along with a few other groups have pushed for the implementation of RA 9280.

“Until the amendments are approved (by Congress), the existing law should be implemented,” CCBI said in a position paper earlier submitted to the BOC.

The House of Representatives has already approved on third reading amendments to Section 29. The Lower House proposal does not prohibit a corporation from engaging in the business of customs brokerage or from hiring the services of an in-house customs broker for purposes of accreditation by the BOC.

The Senate Civil Service Committee has yet to restart hearings on the amendments, stalled by the detention of former chairman Senator Antonio Trillanes on charges of rebellion. The committee is now chaired by Senator Loren Legarda.

RA 9280 enacted on March 30, 2004 regulates the practice of the customs broker profession. It prohibits corporate practice of customs brokerage. Section 29 of the law provides that the customs broker practice is a professional service and as such, “no firm, company, or association may be registered or licensed as such for the practice of customs broker profession”.

Section 28 also provides that no person shall practice or offer to practice the profession, or use the title unless one is a registered licensed customs broker.

Customs Administrative Order No 3-2006-A, however, gave express authority to customs brokerage corporations and freight forwarding firms to lodge customs entries and/or use their employee-customs representatives to transact business at the BOC.

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