Home » Customs & Trade » Customs Accreditation Secretariat abolished

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) has abolished the Customs Accreditation Secretariat (CAS) for its failure to protect the integrity of the BOC accreditation mechanism for brokers and importers. In its place is the newly created Interim Customs Accreditation and Registration Unit (ICARE) under the supervision of the Deputy Commissioner for Assessment and Operations.

Customs commissioner Angelito Alvarez said as much as 20% of the more than 9,000 importers and brokers given accreditation by the defunct CAS were bogus entities used by big-time financiers as fronts for their smuggling activities.

“The changes are meant to rid the BOC of its perennial faults, defects and weaknesses,” Alvarez said. “Our goal is to deprive smugglers’ access to the network of organizational smokescreens they had used effectively in the past to defraud government of billions of pesos in duties and taxes.”

CAS’ records, documents and data have been transferred to ICARE, created under Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 30-2010 dated August 12, 2010.

ICARE’s main task is to purge bogus companies from the master list of accredited importers and brokers and ensure the new registrants satisfy the fundamental requirements for accreditation.

ICARE is also empowered to accredit importers pursuant to and in accordance with CMO No. 23-2009 or the Revised Rules and Regulations on Accreditation of Importers as well as renew accredited importers. In addition, it may cancel, revoke and suspend accreditation of importers.

BOC is now requiring additional renewal requirements from importers operating for more than a year such as a certified true copy of their income tax return and value-added tax return pursuant to the directive of the Secretary of Finance in his memorandum dated August 5, 2010.

ICARE shall submit to the Office of the Commissioner a list of approved application/s daily for monitoring purposes.

Filing fee for new applicants is P1,000 and for renewals, P500.

The ICARE secretariat, to be headed in the interim by lawyer Rhea Gregorio, will function until the proposed Registration and Accreditation Division has been permanently created.

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