Home » Ports/Terminals » Manual lodgement of entries still in force at Cebu, Davao and Clark

IMPORT entries at four major sub-ports are still lodged manually despite orders from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) for full migration to electronic lodgement.

“Entry encoding centers (EECs) are still operating at Cebu, Mactan, Davao and Clark as shippers and BOC continue to lodge entries manually, defeating our presence in the area,” said Francis Lopez, president of InterCommerce Network Services (INS), one of the BOC-accredited value-added service providers (VASP).

The culprit, it seems, are the inability of the BOC itself to provide electronic submission of manifests and the absence of a guideline for ecozones.

“There have been no changes in the lodgment of entries at the said ports and the procedures remain the same despite the introduction of the VASPs,” Lopez said.

At Clark, the district collector is eager to implement the VASP system but the absence of guidelines for the port prevents VASPs from rolling out the system, he said.

Clark wants separate guidelines as its operations are geared toward transshipment.

“Until all the necessary requirements are put into place by the BOC, the procedure will remain the same in the four sub-ports,” he added.

BOC deputy commissioner and VASP accreditation chief Alexander Arevalo told PortCalls the BOC is conducting a “parallel run to properly prepare stakeholders on VASP operations particularly the electronic submission of manifests.

“Most companies, particularly at the airports, are lodging electronically but submit manifests manually rendering the electronic lodgment invalid,” Arevalo added. “We will continue to do the same until all are ready.”

Meanwhile, the BOC will evaluate VASP operations at Batangas, Cagayan de Oro and Subic in preparation for expansion of its automation program. The three sub-ports do not have EECs.

Arevalo said the operation of VASPs in the three ports is easier, requiring only technical readiness from stakeholders unlike in the first three ports with VASPs — Manila, the Manila International Container Terminal and Ninoy Aquino International Airport — which hosted EECs. The shutdown of EECs involved displacement of workers.

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