PHILIPPINE Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon says he agrees with the Department of Finance’s (DOF) proposal to transfer the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) importer accreditation and post-entry audit functions to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
“The BIR would be the best agency to determine the legitimacy of companies as they have extensive records and more comprehensive procedures in verifying the real existence of companies,” Biazon said in a press briefing last Monday.
He said while he is generally happy with the performance of the BOC’s Post-Entry Audit Group (PEAG) — whose revenue of over P400 million in 2011 jumped to more than P700 million in 2013 — the BIR has “more trained people in audit and taxation” and …more stringent audit procedures”.
Still he said there are “customs functions that will have to be addressed first before PEAG could be transferred to the BIR”, including compliance which involves proper valuation and classification of importations.”
Meanwhile, Biazon said transferring the importer and customs broker accreditation function from the BOC’s Interim Customs Accreditation Registration (ICARE) to BIR will not only unburden the agency from screening and weeding out dubious importers but will also lessen red tape.
There have been allegations in the past that some of ICARE’s accredited entities are involved in smuggling, using fake addresses and fictitious names.
“The loophole in the system of accreditation in BOC is an opportunity for corruption. Any mechanism where there is an exercise of authority and discretion is an opportunity for corruption,” Biazon said.
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /FreeDigitalPhotos.net