Home » Customs & Trade » Overhaul of x-ray procedures in order, say truckers

THE Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) is calling for a review of x-ray scanning procedures conducted by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) at various ports.

CTAP claimed the current process of conducting a physical and x-ray examination of high-risk and other randomly selected shipments when these are already onboard a truck – as contained in Customs Memorandum Order 10-2011 — has led to delays resulting in higher overheads.

In a position paper submitted to the BOC, a copy of which was provided to PortCalls, CTAP president Ruperto Bayocot said the “BOC should conduct the physical and x-ray examination of selected shipments immediately after the discharge from the carrying vessels”.

He added, “The conduct of physical and x-ray examination on high-risk and other selected shipments by the BOC is indubitably necessary and proper. However, if its implementation is not carried out well, the objectives it sought to attain will all be put to naught. Somehow, the said process of examination may increase revenue collection but if… not properly monitored and implemented” could be a vehicle for corruption.

CTAP noted its proposal to conduct x-ray examinations at a duly designated area within the port right after cargo is discharged from the vessel will “prejudice no one”, adding that “only the BOC examining personnel is directly involved and with the cargo broker or consignee in attendance.”

This is in contrast to the current procedure that requires the presence of many personnel — BOC examining personnel, a cargo handler representative, customs broker, trucker and checker.

After the examination, CTAP proposed that the cargo sought to be withheld can be immediately transferred to an area designed for the purpose so that further examination and documentation can be conducted without delay.

The x-ray scanning concerns are the subject of tomorrow’s meeting among CTAP, BOC and Port Users’ Confederation officials.

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