Home » Customs & Trade, Maritime » Law enforcement needed in GPS project — PISFA

STRICT law enforcement must be part of the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) global positioning system (GPS) project otherwise the policy may just prove useless and only increase logistics cost.

Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association (PISFA) president Nelson Mendoza told PortCalls the project — embodied in Customs Administrative Order 4-2010 and which requires electronic GPS-equipped barrier seal on transit cargoes – is “good” but it has a few gray areas.

“At the moment, the project does not include the response time and who will respond during illegal activities… it does not have any enabling law for the police to respond immediately once a distress signal is sent,” Mendoza pointed out.

“The GPS will be useless if it does not integrate law enforcement,” he added, saying shippers may just have to shoulder the extra cost without real security benefits apart from real-time tracking and tracing.

The GPS project requires the collection of a transit processing fee of P1,100 for each transshipment container, P400 for breakbulk cargo and a $5 container security fee.

BOC has been eyeing the use of GPS on transit cargoes since late last year. But the proposal then included equipping trucks with GPS.

Aside from the processing fee which will be paid through the Customs Transit Monitoring and Tracking Unit (CTMTU) that will be set up at the country’s major ports, the CAO also provides that the CTMTU will be responsible for uploading transit cargo information onto the transit system; placement of EGBS as Customs seal on the cargo; informing the port of destination of the cargo of its estimated date and time of arrival; tracking and monitoring of cargo while in transit through GPS; reporting to the Philippine National Police any unauthorized diversion from the designated transit route; and determining any breach in the integrity of the seal.

The CTMTU is also tasked to submit a daily computerized report of the number, permit number and declarant of shipments released and shipments received to the Customs Coordinating and Audit Office under the Office of the Customs Commissioner.

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