Home » Maritime » Forwarders seek parallel filing of manifests

INTERNATIONAL sea freight forwarders will ask the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to allow parallel filing of electronic consolidated cargo manifests (e-CCM) with shipping line manifests to avoid payment of late penalties.

Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association (PISFA) president Nelson Mendoza told PortCalls the move will allow forwarders to submit their e-CCMs ahead of carriers’ manifests. The latter’s late submission has been cited as one of the reasons for forwarders’ subsequent late submission of their e-CCMs.

“We are willing to take the risks involved in parallel filing instead of being penalized for late filing that is oftentimes attributable to another party,” Mendoza added.

Risks include filing incomplete or wrong information on the e-CCM but this could easily be addressed with the filing of a manifest amendment, he said.

Moving forward, Mendoza said the association will work toward increased coordination and cooperation with both carriers and forwarders to prevent late filing by all.

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 the delay signed and approved by authorized BOC personnel.

Earlier, PISFA proposed – but without success — the submission of the e-CCM within the first six working hours after arrival of the vessel under the following circumstances — if the vessels arrive after regular working hours (i.e., after 1700 hours of the day and prior to 0800 hours of the following day); and during weekends and on long or extended holidays.

Considering some vessels arrive during nighttime, the association pointed out there is no time for forwarders to prepare the submissions except by extending work hours and by incurring additional cost in equipment and labor.

Under Customs Administrative Order 1-2007, the BOC obligates shipping lines, non-vessel operating common carriers, consolidators, co-loaders and break bulk agents to provide information on vessels and cargoes arriving in any port nationwide 12 hours prior (for shipping lines and six hours for forwarders) through electronic transfer coursed through any of the BOC’s accredited value-added service providers.

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