Home » Customs & Trade » Customs scored for cargo transfer fee double charging

INDUSTRY stakeholders are complaining of double charging by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) on the payment of the cargo transfer fee (CTF) in Philippine Export Zone Authority (PEZA) areas.

Under Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 37-2010 issued last September 13, 2010 (CMO 37-2010“>click here for copy), the BOC mandated a common CTF on the domestic transit of imports amounting to P710 plus P305, the latter representing the cost of the import entry and internal revenue declaration (IEIRD) form and the documentary stamp. This brings to P1,015 the total CTF that needs to be paid for the use of the enhanced Automated Cargo Transfer System (e-ACTS).

e-ACTS provides a simpler process of documenting and processing of clearances as well as the transfer and admission of foreign merchandise from the Port of Manila, Manila International Container Terminal, and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to the freeports of Subic Bay, Clark and Bataan.

The complaint centers on the payment of CTF specifically for PEZA transshipment entries. Stakeholders say there is double charging for such transactions because apart from the P1,015 — which already includes payment of the IEIRD form and documentary stamp — automatically debited from the importer or broker’s CTF fund upon lodgment of import entry, the Customs-PEZA Clearance Office (CPCO) still requires the presentation of a hard copy of the IEIRD form during processing. The form is purchased from the BOC at P305 each. In effect, the broker pays an extra P305 for a service (IEIRD form) he/she already paid for.

For the freeport zones of Subic Bay, Clark and Bataan, there are no complaints of double charging because the presentation of a hard copy of the IEIRD form is not required. Neither are there issues with transit imports to the Mactan Export Processing Zone discharged at the Port of Mactan, whose CTF remains at P432.

Refund process

The problem turns a little more complicated because the process of refunding the P305 is not clear.

PortCalls sources said the office of Deputy Commissioner Alexander Arevalo has ruled that the refund will be reimbursed by the BOC Cash Division but not in the form of cash but import entry offsetting.

Unfortunately, it seems the instruction has yet to trickle down to the relevant BOC staff. A check with both the Cash Division and the CPCO revealed there is still no directive to that effect.

Stakeholders are now seeking an audience with the BOC to settle the vagaries of the CTF.

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