CLASSIFICATION experts from the Philippine Tariff Commission will be detailed at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to help the agency classify dutiable imports as it tries to plug revenue leakages and improve its collections.
The secondment of the classification experts to the country’s second-largest revenue-generating agency is provided for in a memorandum of agreement signed by the Department of Finance (DOF), the Tariff Commission and the BOC.
Under the MOA, enforced under Customs Memorandum Circular 282-2013 dated Dec. 17, 2013, the Tariff Commission experts will be detailed to the BOC for an average of six months on a rotational basis.
The agreement states that the move is in response to the need to “provide expertise and additional staff to the BOC in order to strengthen, help and enhance the agency’s technical capability with respect to tariff classification matters…”
The classification experts will be assigned to the Port of Manila, Ninoy Aquino International Airport or Manila International Container Port only.
The Tariff Commission will pay the basic salaries and benefits of the classification experts, according to the MOA.
The commission is a unit attached to the National Economic and Development Authority independent of the Department of Finance (DOF), the mother agency of the BOC.
Under Section 505 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, “the Tariff Commission is empowered to investigate the administration and the fiscal and industrial effects of the customs laws of the country; the nature and composition of, and the classification of articles according to tariff commodity classification and heading number for customs revenue and other related purposes.”
For its part, the DOF agreed to create 10 additional plantilla positions of tariff classification experts “in support of the Customs reform program of the government.”
The agreement is in effect until termination by either party, according to the MOA.
The agreement was signed by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, Customs Commissioner John Phillip Sevilla, and Tariff Commission Chairman Edgardo Abon.––Roumina M.Pablo
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