Home » Across Borders » New regulations for importer accreditation
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Atty. Agaton Uvero IN recent months, the new customs commissioner has issued a number of new rules and regulations. We will outline below some of these recent issuances that significantly impact on the gateway community – customs brokers, forwarders, customs bonded warehouses (CBWs), importers and exporters.

New Accreditation Rules

In addition to the creation of a new office (i-CARE) to handle the registration and accreditation of importers and customs brokers, the Bureau of Customs has recently issued Customs Memorandum Order 47-2010 to provide for a more transparent and simplified accreditation process. Accordingly, the new rules will be implemented by December 3, 2010.

While the new rules provide for additional documentary requirements (e.g. corporate profile and officers/directors profile), said rules will now allow the immediate processing (pass or fail) of the application or renewal of registration upon submission of the documentary requirements.

The new process requires immediate approval upon submission of a complete set of documentary requirements without the requirement of prior physical inspection of the company’s premises. Inspection will be conducted after approval has been made, thus allowing the company to immediately conduct its import transaction with customs.

While importers will need extra efforts to complete the additional documentary requirements, the new process should however allow importers to secure approval of the application or renewal of registration within 2 days from submission of the complete set of documents.

With these developments, importers should soon expect faster and transparent processing as well as minimal expenses when applying or renewing its registration.

Informal Entry System

As a background, shipments with minimal value, volume or weight are considered as informal shipments and are covered by a different set of rules and procedures, otherwise known as the Informal Entry System (IES). Shipments with high value, volume or weight are processed through the Formal Entry System (FES).

Currently, IES is manual while FES is automated (import accreditation, manifest submission, entry filing, bank payment and online releasing). The IES, however, has long been reported to be a major source of revenue leakage, with many formal shipments going through the informal entry system.

In a Memorandum dated November 3, 2010, BOC has now implemented CMO 13-2010 (E2M system for Informal Entry of Commercial Goods) at the Port of Manila and Manila International Container Port.

Under CMO 13-2010, the following shipments shall be declared under the automated IES:

  • Total Customs Value is below USD500
  • Total Gross Weight is less or equal 300 kilogram
  • Total number of packages is less or equal to 12
  • The shipment volume is less or equal to 1 cubic meter

The automated informal entry system will accordingly not apply to shipment of personal effects as well as express cargoes.

Transit Entry System

Transit (Transshipment) cargoes normally refer to goods transferred from one customs port to another port without requiring the payment of duties and taxes.

Transit goods would normally include goods transferred to Free Ports, PEZA zones and CFS/Airport CBWs, and those shipments that are to be cleared (whether for re-export or for domestic consumption) in the another customs port. The new rules (CMO 43-2010) requiring automated processing of said shipments will not, however, apply to shipments bound for PEZA zones and Free Ports.

Under said rules, transit or transshipment cargoes will now be processed similar to informal and formal shipments. In addition, shipments bound for CY/CFS and airport CBWs will go through an automated transit/transfer permit system through existing Value-Added Service Providers.

The author is the legal director of AFPI, PISFA and PUC. He is a lecturer on logistics, indirect tax and customs, and a trainor of Ateneo Graduate School and BayanTrade Academy on International Supply Chain Management. Please contact agatonuvero@yahoo.com for your comments.

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