Two Bureau of Customs (BOC) executives have announced they will soon address issues concerning the implementation of the online air manifest submission and centralization of alert orders.
Customs deputy commissioner for the Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group Atty. Agaton Teodoro Uvero said the Ninoy Aquino International Airport “will soon implement the online manifest submission so airlines must be prepared.”
Deputy Commissioner for the Enforcement Group Jessie Dellosa, on the other hand, said a “one-stop shop” will be created to rationalize the issuance of alert orders on suspect shipments of imported goods.
Dellosa, who is also officer-in-charge of the Intelligence Group, said he is planning to propose the creation of a “war room” or an “operations center” that would centralize and rationalize the issuance of alert orders.
The war room, which Dellosa likened to a military planning room, will have representatives of all concerned offices for the issuance of orders like assessment, x-ray, valuation and intelligence.
In a follow up text to PortCalls, he said “if we’ll be able to establish that war room, alert orders will emanate only from that room and nothing else.”
Uvero added that as all offices will be coordinated, the issuance and lifting of alert orders will be faster.
From Oct. 17 to 31, the BOC had issued 100 alert orders, or an average of seven per day.
“Most of the time, the delays are caused by brokers who fail to immediately address the problems of the cargo. Many of them are trying to seek other ways to get the alert orders lifted when the simplest way is through the filing of correct and accurate import documents and paying the right duties and taxes,” Dellosa said in a separate statement.
Brokers were warm to the idea of a war room, but suggested the group also tackle other concerns such as those on arrastre.
Meanwhile, asked for comment on the looming implementation of the online air manifest submission, Leo Morada, CEO of BOC-accredited value-added service provider Cargo Data Exchange Corp., told PortCalls in an email that “new efforts to fully implement online submission of electronic air manifests are expected to address the concerns previously expressed by stakeholders on the imposition of penalty for late submission, the continued requirement for submission of hard copy manifest, and mandatory matching of customs broker import entry declarations with the electronic master B/L (bill of lading) or house B/L.”
“These policies and procedures are already implemented in seafreight. Airfreight stakeholders must now prepare to transition to this,” Morada added.
He said a draft Customs Memorandum Order on revised procedures for submission of electronic air manifest was circulated early this year for review and comments by BOC stakeholders.
“Once this is approved, it will constitute the basis for strict mandatory implementation,” Morada said.
The scheme was implemented in 2011 but was stopped due to the huge volume of manifests coming into the system.
CDEC clients are also complying with the annual renewal of the Client Profile Registration System for 2012 and 2013, required in using the electronic to mobile system of the BOC.
“We are undertaking additional information dissemination activities to help them ensure their continued readiness,” Morada noted. ––Roumina M. Pablo