Home » Customs & Trade » Lines should share in responsibility for late manifest filing — forwarders

INTERNATIONAL shipping lines should be held partly liable for manifests filed late by freight forwarders when the cause of delay is directly attributed to carriers, said Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association (PISFA) president Nelson Mendoza.

“Right now, forwarders are penalized for late filing of manifests even if we are armed with justifications that it is not our fault. Forwarders are unjustly penalized for reasons beyond our control,” Mendoza told PortCalls, adding forwarders are at the mercy of carriers who are required to file their manifests ahead of forwarders’.

BOC requires shipping lines to submit their manifests 12 hour prior to vessel arrival at any Philippine port. Forwarders must submit theirs six hours prior to vessel arrival.

“The field is uneven. The BOC should also come up with a penalty scheme for carriers to compel them to disclose their approximate time of arrival at any Philippine port and automatic notification of forwarders,” Mendoza said.

The penalty — normally not a pass-on cost as shippers had no hand in the preparation of documents – is shouldered by forwarders.

Penalties for late filing range from P10,000 to P30,000. The amount is supposedly on top of “other amounts” paid to BOC personnel to facilitate cargo release.

Meanwhile, PISFA continues to push for automation of the penalty system to ensure the funds go directly to government coffers. There have been reports that penalties have been pocketed by some BOC personnel.

The advance submission of manifest by shipping lines and forwarders is part of the BOC’s electronic-to-mobile (e2m) project aimed at clearing cargoes within 30 minutes in compliance with the country’s commitment to ASEAN and the World Customs Organization.

e2m has been in effect for some time at the ports of Batangas, Limay, Mariveles, Manila International Container Port, Port of Manila, Subic, Clark and Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Today, it took effect in Mactan-Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo and Tacloban.

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