The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) has transferred the X-ray Inspection Project (XIP) to the Enforcement Group (EG) from the Office of the Commissioner, and designated duty customs examiners at the XIP designated examination area (XIP-DEA).
Under Customs Memorandum Order No. 06-2014 signed by Customs Commissioner John Phillip Sevilla on February 27 and effective immediately, the XIP was realigned “in recognition of its law enforcement function considering that x-ray is a frontline border protection facility.”
Customs examiners will also conduct non-intrusive container inspection, a task that “neither diminishes nor supplants the statutory duties of a customs offer to examine, classify, and appraise imported articles…”, the memo pointed out.
The deputy commissioner for Enforcement Group may reshuffle personnel within the XIP or reassign existing Enforcement and Security Service personnel performing duties at the XIP back to their mother units and vice versa.
The district/port collector will, on a rotational basis, designate two duty customs examiners for the day at the XIP-DEA “to prevent collusion among the x-ray operators”. One examiner may be assigned for ports where volume of containers subject for x-ray inspection is low.
Substitution of duty is not allowed unless approved by the district or port collector, provided that no duty examiner will be assigned for two consecutive days.
While the x-ray operation is ongoing, the duty examiner should remain at the XIP-DEA and cannot leave the area to perform other assessment functions, the CMO stated.
The XIP will also now focus only on shipments electronically selected for x-ray inspection, to strengthen the existing automated risk management scheme of the BOC, according to the memo.
Except for containers or import entries subject of derogatory information, refrigerated shipments, transshipments, Philippine Economic Zone Authority-bound shipments and export shipments are no longer subject to mandatory container x-ray scanning.
For personal effects, only single-consignee shipments will be subject to mandatory container x-ray inspection while consolidated shipments will be subject to strict and full 100% examination by the examiner upon devanning at the authorized outside container yard or designated area.
For commodities where possible violations cannot be determined through x-ray scanning – such as but not limited to Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) violations – these will be subject to mandatory ocular spot-checking.
The BOC’s Risk Management Office and Import Assessment Service were directed to come up with a list of high-value commodities and specific commodities susceptible to IPR violation.
Spot-checking at the XIP designated examination area will be done in the presence of the duty examiners. For 100% examination pursuant to an alert order, the examiner assigned for the particular import entry shall be responsible in conducting the examination, to be witnessed by, among others, the officer/s-on-case specified in the order.–– Roumina M. Pablo