Home » Customs & Trade » CAO on revised Customs Brokers’ Act out soon

THE Customs Administrative Order (CAO) operationalizing the Philippine Customs Broker’s Act of 2004, as amended, is expected to be released within the month.

Customs commissioner Angelito Alvarez said the CAO is just awaiting Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima’s signature.

“One of the salient features of the new CAO is that forwarders and brokerage houses can now employ professional customs brokers,” Alvarez said at the sidelines of a smuggling case filing before the Department of Justice last week.

This provision, however, does not sit well with several brokers’ groups who claim it violates the law.

It maybe recalled that the push to allow employment of customs brokers by forwarders and brokerage houses along with corporations’ right to transact business at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) led to the amendment of Republic Act 9280 or the Customs Brokers’ Act of 2004 to RA 9853 in late 2009.

Some brokers’ groups reiterated there should be no employer-employee relationship between forwarders/brokerage houses and customs brokers, only a professional relationship where brokerage houses can engage — but not employ — the services of customs brokers.

The implementing rules and regulations issued by the Professional Regulatory Board for Customs Brokers, the groups said, also disallow the employment of brokers by forwarders/brokerage houses — a provision which they intend to invoke once the CAO is implemented.

Meanwhile, other features of the draft CAO include reduction from 12 to five the number of documents required for BOC accreditation.

The CAO also allows individual brokers to seek accreditation from the BOC as long as he/she presents a Continuing Professional Education (CPE) instead of a financial statement as earlier required.

Corporations may also secure BOC accreditation along with general professional partnerships as long as the latter’s partners comply with the CPE.

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