Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade, Maritime » BOC leadership change to stall key projects

The leadership change at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) may affect some of the agency’s automation projects, including the Automated Export Declaration System (AEDS) and the National Single Window (NSW) system.

According to a PortCalls source, the agency may need to set another deadline for the projects in consideration of what the incoming BOC chief wants.

The full implementation of AEDS in all customs territories, ecozones and freeport zones had earlier been set for September 1. This has not materialized partly due to reshuffle at the agency. With the delay, parallel manual and automated lodgment of export entries continues.

The NSW, on the other hand, was supposed to be rolled out in two to three weeks based on the deadline set by outgoing Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez.

The NSW needs to be in place before yearend as it is a prelude to the Asean Single Window expected to be online by early 2012.

“The change in leadership at Customs has bought exporters time; they now have time to push the supplemental memo (on AEDS),” the PortCalls source, who requested not to be named, said.

“The BOC needs to determine quickly the new target dates for AEDS and NSW implementation as these two are vital aspects of the agency’s automation program as well as interconnection with the Asean region,” the source added.

The new BOC commissioner is expected to be named middle of September. He will replace Alvarez, who has been accused by many sectors of not doing enough to stem smuggling.

The almost 2,000 missing container vans transshipped from the Ports of Manila to Batangas was apparently the deciding factor in Alvarez’s ouster.

Rumored to take his place is Muntinlupa representative Ruffy Biazon.

Before leaving for a state visit to China last week, President Benigno Aquino III confirmed he was replacing Alvarez due to poor performance.

The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) said it was saddened by the impending departure of Alvarez.

“Recognizing early the crucial role of the private sector, Commissioner Alvarez strengthened the technical assistance given by industry experts who assist the government in monitoring technically smuggled imported goods,” FPI chairman Jesus Arranza said.

“Be that as it may, the federation will always respect the decision of President Aquino, who has all the prerogative to appoint anybody who he feels will serve justice to the office. The entire membership of the federation will surely give the same support, which it gave to Commissioner Alvarez, to anybody whom President Aquino will appoint as BOC commissioner.”


Photo by derrickcollins


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