Home » Maritime » Forwarders push auto debit for late manifest filing

THE Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association (PISFA) will refile its proposal for the automatic payment of penalties for late submission of electronic consolidated cargo manifests (e-CCM) with the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The association’s initial proposal was submitted to former Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales who recently handed over the reins of the bureau to Angelito Alvarez.

PISFA president Nelson Mendoza told PortCalls the manual payment process for late e-CCMs is prone to corruption since it requires face-to-face dealings with Customs personnel.

In addition to automating payments, PISFA is proposing a fixed — and significantly lower — fee of P5,000 per late filing. “The current scheme is too heavy for forwarders even if the late submission is not their fault,” Mendoza said.

Late e-CCM filing comes with a penalty of P10,000 for the first offense, P20,000 for the second offense and P30,000 for the third offense. But forwarders claim the penalty seems fixed at P30,000 even if they are armed with justification for tardiness signed and approved by authorized BOC personnel.

“We will likewise ask the (BOC-accredited) value-added service providers to mediate and come out with mechanics to trigger (the lifting of the) ‘block system’ on the e-CCM once the penalty is settled,” Mendoza said.

Freight forwarders complain that after payment of late penalties, the lifting of the “block” on e-CCMs requires too much time, resulting in delays in cargo release.

PUC support

In another development, the Port Users Confederation — the umbrella organization of all transport associations in the country of which PISFA is a member — pledged its support to commissioner Alvarez over the weekend.

PUC president Dominador de Guzman said the group will work hand in hand with BOC management starting with the prompt renewal registration of importer-clients.

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