Home » Customs & Trade » CCBI slams unfair treatment of brokers

MEMBERS of the Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc (CCBI) are seeking equal footing with brokerage houses and corporations in transacting with the Bureau of Customs (BOC), claiming that current developments have shown that brokers are unfairly treated at the bureau.

The chamber said brokers are easily prosecuted under existing customs laws but that corporations and brokerage houses violating the law remain uncharged under Republic Act 9280 or the Customs Brokers Act of 2004 and continue to enjoy benefits that should be exclusively reserved for brokers.

CCBI contends that corporate practice is disallowed under RA 9280.

In a letter to Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales, CCBI president Rolando Quiambao said the unabated violation and non-implementation of RA 9280 must at least be tempered if not totally stopped.

“The BOC through the Internal Inquiry and Prosecution Division, the Internal Procecution Division, CIIS (Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service), the RATS (Run After the Smugglers) and the Legal Service are quick to file administrative and criminal cases against customs brokers, but no cases were filed by the appropriate division or office of the BOC in accordance with the provisions of RA 9280,” Quiambao said.

“In the Port of Manila, based on our records from September 24 to 28, 2007 alone, 800 selected green, yellow, red consumption entries were lodged, filed and processed by corporations and brokerage houses but remain unpunished based on the provisions of RA 9280,” he said.

Quiambao noted the number of violations will increase further if entries filed in other major ports such as Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Manila International Container Port, Batangas, Cebu, Davao and Subic are counted.

He said CCBI members are disheartened by the fact that until now importers, consignees, customs brokerage corporations and companies as well as forwarding and logistics companies are allowed by the BOC to sign, lodge, file and process import entries.

Apart from seeking the intervention of Commissioner Morales to stop violations of RA 9280, particularly Sections 6 and 27, CCBI is also recommending the immediate recall of Customs Adminis-trative Order (CAO) 3-2006-A which operationalizes RA 9280 at the BOC.

CCBI said the CAO has usurped the legislative powers of Congress because the order has already amended RA 9280 ahead of proposed changes to the law in both Houses of Congress.

The CAO allows corporations to file customs entries at the BOC but RA 9280 prohibits the corporate practice of the customs brokerage profession.

CCBI also proposed the issuance of a rule requiring all import and export entries and declarations lodged, filed and processed in various ports of entries be signed by a duly licensed, registered and accredited customs brokers along with the importer, consignee, owner or exporter of the cargo.

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