The July 31 deadline for importers and customs brokers to secure the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) accreditation they need to import shipments will not likely be extended.
“There’s a low chance it will be extended,” Atty. Agaton Teodoro Uvero, deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group, told participants at the Cargo Transport Summit 2 organized by the Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association and PortCalls on July 15.
BOC’s mother agency, the Department of Finance, issued on June 26 Department Order No. 46-2014 extending the deadline for another month to July 31 from June 30.
As of the morning of July 15, there were about 11,000 applicants for accreditation, of which 85% were importers and 15% customs brokers, according to Rosana San Vicente, chief of the Bureau of Internal Revenue Accounts Receivable Monitoring Division (ARMD). ARMD is in charge of accrediting importers and customs brokers at the agency.
According to the new accreditation rules, importers and brokers need to secure an Importer Clearance Certificate (ICC) or Broker Clearance Certificate (BCC) from the BIR before they can move to the next phase and apply for another accreditation with the BOC.
San Vicente said that out of the 11,000 applications, “less than 1,000, more than 600” applicants have been processed so far.
“Several are [waiting] for final evaluation and the rest, about 50%, [are] waiting for replies from concerned offices of the bureau regarding tax compliance of these applicants,” she added.
The ARMD chief stressed that the notification of approval or denial of these applications will be sent via email or coursed through phone calls.
BIR stub accepted at BOC
Uvero noted importers and brokers who have already applied for ICC and BCC may proceed with the BOC application upon presenting the stub and official receipt (OR) from the BIR as well as other additional requirements asked for by the customs agency.
As of July 15, he said the BOC Accounts Monitoring Office (AMO) in charge of the accreditation had processed about 2,000 applications.
Uvero clarified that only importers and brokers who have previously transacted with the BOC prior to the new accreditation rules can present their stubs and ORs as proof of ICC or BCC application.
New importers and brokers should secure an ICC or BCC first, as their BIR stubs and ORs will not be honored by the AMO.
“If you are a new company, hindi puwedeng application lang (application won’t do). You need to have clearance from BIR,” Uvero said.
While waiting for the result of their application with the BIR, importers and brokers may start processing their shipments. Importers and brokers with denied applications will be given “30 days to wind up” processing their pending shipments and file an appeal with the BIR.
Uvero said any company that plans to import goods or materials, although not an importer or manufacturer, also needs to be accredited.
Meanwhile, San Vicente said the BIR has relaxed its requirements for importers securing documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). San Vicente said the BIR will proceed with its evaluation if the importers provide proof of application with SEC. – Text and photo by Roumina Pablo