Home » Customs & Trade » BOC puts together big boys’ club of importers

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) recently formed a “big boys’ club” in its bid to reward importers adhering to ethical business practices and to boost its anti-smuggling campaign.

The association called Super Green Lane Plus (SGL+) “is a customs facility that assures qualified importers with simplified, prompt and efficient customs clearance process,” Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez said.

He explained SGL+ is an improved version of the SGL, which has been in place since 2003.

“What makes it different and better are its two complementary features, namely, the expansion of privileges accorded to the project adopters and the establishment of an association whose membership is limited to port users who have earned the right to be classified as first among equals,” Alvarez said.

Under the system, member companies will enjoy a shorter lead time in customs clearance processing, exemption from document and physical examination of regular importation, and pre-clearance process approval.

Members will also enjoy a three-year exemption on customs post-entry audit, five-year customs accreditation, and the privilege to import articles not included in their list of regular importations.

In addition, they are exempt from the customs Selectivity System and, in cases where physical examination of their imported goods become necessary, the same may be conducted at the importer’s premises.

So far, the SGL+ has 32 pre-selected members, including Nestle Phils, Jollibee Foods Corp, Ford Group, Yamaha Motors, JVC Phils, SUZUKI Phils, Procter & Gamble, Sanofi-Aventis Phils, Abott Laboratories, Avon Phil, Kraft Phils, Globe Telecoms, IBM, Texas Instruments, Epson, Mc Donalds (Golden Arches), and Smart Inc.

Membership requires application. A formal recommendation to the BOC by the association is a pre-requisite.

The applicant must have a good reputation, and has not been involved in illegal and irregular transactions.

The group will be run by a seven-man board whose members were elected last week and are from Avon, Kraft, Globe, IBM, Texas Instruments, Epson and Golden Arches. This week, the board will select from among themselves a chairman.

BOC has been eyeing the creation of such a grouping immediately after Alvarez took the agency’s helm last July.

Alvarez said SGL+ was one of the ideas he picked up during a recent study trip to Indonesia to identify trade facilitation best practices suitable for the Philippines.

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