Home » Customs & Trade » E-lodgement of export docs confusing industry

SOME industry groups have scored the confusing language in customs memorandum orders (CMO) related to the implementation of the electronic lodgment for export declarations.

The groups who requested anonymity said the recently issued CMO 49-2011 and CMO 54-2011 seem designed to confound since they contain too many details that do not add up.

“While it requires the declarant to file export declaration, CMO 49-2011 revives the concept of the ‘entry encoding center’ wherein the One-Stop Export Documentation Center (OSEDC) will be encoding the export declaration and file the export declaration using the registered name of a Client Profile Registration System (CPRS)-registered exporter or broker/forwarder. In this regard, the authenticity and data integrity of the declaration is compromised; the OSEDC may use the name of registered exporter or broker/forwarder, without prior consent or authorization,” a document provided to PortCalls pointed out.

The same document noted the CMO is “contrary to provisions of the amended Customs Brokers Act, which allows exporters and their representatives to file their own export declarations”. In contrast, “the CMO is explicit that exporters and customs brokers/forwarders are required prior registration with BOC under its e2m CPRS.”

The group also scored the timeframe of the effectivity of the CMO, which requires exporters to register their CPRS through the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (for PEZA-registered enterprise/exporters) and the Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc (Philexport).

“If this is so, other companies which are duly registered with other government agencies (eg, Board of Investments, Clark Development Corporation, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, etc) will have to go through a new round of registration with DTI or PhilExport. On the other hand, it will allow PhilExport which is a private association, to accredit exporters — whereby membership to PhilExport becomes mandatory if it chooses to be accredited as an ‘exporter’ with PhilExport; the alternative which is the registration through DTI may take awhile since it does not even require accreditation or registration of exporters making PhilExport a pseudo-government agency performing government function.”

Exclusive VASP?

Another source of confusion is in the language used by the CMOs as to the value-added service provider (VASP) allowed to implement the e-lodgment of export entries.

It will be recalled that there is an existing facility for the electronic lodgment of export declaration — the Automated Export Documentation System (AEDS) — in place since 2002 and used by members of the Semiconductors and Electronics Industries of the Philippines, Inc (SEIPI) registered with PEZA. The system is operated and implemented by VASP E-Konek Pilipinas, owned by former Customs Commissioners Alberto Lina and Guillermo Parayno, former bosses of current Customs chief Angelito Alvarez.

The CMO seems to confuse procedures on the processing of the Export Declaration or Export Declaration Single Administrative Document (ED SAD,) using the same acronym AEDS for the Customs e2m Export System, leading some industry stakeholders to conclude that E-Konek’s AEDS is the exclusive vehicle for the e-lodgement of export documents.

It does not help that there is a joint memorandum order (JMO) between PEZA and BOC on the implementation of “AEDS” for exports of PEZA locators, again giving the impression that export transactions of SEIPI members should only go through AEDS and not any other VASP.

Last week, the BOC issued implementing rules and regulations (IRR) covering export declaration filed under the OSEDC as well as under all BOC districts and offices nationwide.

The IRRs, embodied under CMO No. 49-2011 for the OSEDC and CMO No. 54-2011, will take effect middle of the month.

Both IRRs require all export declaration filed either the OSEDC or any Customs offices be done electronically using VASPs accredited by the BOC.

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