Home » Ports/Terminals » Cargo scanning procedures likely to stay the same

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) is inclined to maintain the status quo on x-ray procedures at ports despite calls from truckers to overhaul the process.

In a meeting with representatives of the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP), Asian Terminals, Inc, Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc, Port Users Confederation and the Professional Customs Brokers Association of the Philippines, Inc. BOC officials said the current process is based on Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP) provisions, which if revised may need Congressional approval.

“We believe the current process is what the law requires,” BOC x-ray inspection chief Atty. Lourdes Mangaoang said. “Under the TCCP, examination of cargoes should be done after filing of entries.”

CTAP had earlier proposed that the x-ray inspection be conducted right after the cargo is discharged from the vessel —and not when the cargo is already onboard the truck as is the current practice — to reduce potential acts of corruption involving customs personnel as well as delays.

CTAP members claimed the “tedious” procedures for suspect cargoes have in some cases led to delays of up to two days and revenue losses of 30-50%.

CTAP president Ruperto Bayocot said their proposal does not violate provisions of the TCCP since it is only x-ray scanning – and not examination of cargo – that will be conducted after the cargo is discharged from the vessel.

“Examination of cargo is different from the x-ray scanning,” Bayocot said. “What we are proposing is to reduce the (process)… on the part of the truckers by immediately scanning the cargo right after it is discharged from the vessel.”

He added, “The arrastre operators are willing to do the scanning based on our proposal as long as the BOC issues an order to this effect.”

Another meeting is scheduled today (June 1) on the issue.

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