Home » Customs & Trade » First VASP accreditation still awaited

THE accreditation of the first Bureau of Customs (BOC) value-added service provider (VASP) continues to hang with the service level undertaking (SLU) still unsigned as of Friday.

The SLU binds the VASP to guarantee the services it offers to BOC clients and sets penalties for failure to do so.

The first SLU was reviewed by INS and returned to BOC with revisions on the issue of penalties.

Deputy Customs commissioner Alexander Arevalo told PortCalls the bureau is constantly negotiating with InterCommerce Network Service (INS), the first VASP applicant to pass technical evaluation of the BOC, on provisions of the SLU, particularly the penalties.

Arevalo said INS has yet to agree on the penalties. “Aside from the penalties involved, everything else is already okay. We are set to present the SLU to INS anytime this week. Compliance with the SLU is the easiest in the evaluation process as it only involves the concurrence of the applicant and we hope to have them onboard also later this week,”Arevalo said.

“However,”he added, “this will be the last time we will present the revised SLU to INS and will not entertain any revisions whatsoever once presented. If they (INS) do not sign, it will mean INS does not like to be one our VASP.”

INS president Francis Lopez confirmed his company is concerned with the penalties spelled out in the SLU, especially those on system down time.

“We wanted the penalties to be rational enough that they will not hurt the operating expenses of the company but heavy enough to encourage the provider to satisfactorily maintain its system to prevent any system disruption,”he explained.

As of presstime Friday, the SLU was still with the BOC legal department and being fine tuned based on INS proposals.

Another VASP applicant Crimson Logic-Philippines is still awaiting a call from the VASP Accreditation Committee on when it will start its live test run to determine if it warrants recommendation for provisional accreditation from the committee. Crimson Logic has been marketing its system to companies transacting with the BOC even if still under technical evaluation.

The other two VASP applicants, C-DEC and E-Konek, are in the first phase of the technical evaluation process.

Expected to facilitate trade, VASP duties include lodgment of import declarations; lodgment of export declarations; transmission of raw materials liquidation information; and transmission of surety bonds information.

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