THE Philippine Bureau of Customs has issued guidelines on the self-certification and accreditation of “certified exporters” under a system to be implemented as a pilot project by some Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members, including the Philippines.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) among the scheme participants allows certified exporters to self-declare that their products have satisfied the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) Rules of Origin (ROO), thus speeding up Customs transactions.
Customs Commissioner John Phillip Sevilla signed Customs Memorandum Order 02-2014 implementing Customs Administrative Order 06-2013, which establishes the parameters and procedures in accrediting producers and manufacturers as certified exporters.
President Benigno Aquino said the ROO plays a crucial role in achieving a free flow of goods within the ASEAN single market, which will be in place in 2015.
A certified exporter is a producer or manufacturer duly authorized by the BOC to make out an invoice declaration on the origin of an exported product.
The Second Pilot Project is under the direct supervision of the BOC’s Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group (AOCG), which would determine or approve participating exporters and grant the status of certified exporter.
The information and communication technology requirement will be handled by the Management Information and Systems Technology Group (MISTG) in coordination with the AOCG.
As a certified exporter, a company must allow the BOC to monitor its use of authorization through access of records and premises, to undertake the making of the invoice declaration and ensuring of the person responsible know and understand the rules of origin.
In availing themselves of the preferential rate under the ATIGA for importations, existing customs procedures will still apply, only that certified exporters have the option to claim tariff preference by submitting an invoice declaration in lieu of a CO Form D.
Customs Administration Order 06-2013 states that the pilot project covers originating goods of qualified manufacturers/producers exporting to and importing from the participating countries.
For importations, the second pilot project will be implemented in all ports.
For exportations, the project is limited initially to the Port of Manila, Manila International Container Port, and Ninoy Aquino International Airport, “without prejudice to the extension of this pilot project to all other ports within six months of its effective implementation”.
The authorized status is valid until December 2015, unless the MOU on the second pilot project is terminated.
The order is applicable to exporters from other ASEAN member countries that may accede to the MOU, the order stated.
The MOU on the Second Pilot Project was signed on Aug. 29, 2012 by the Philippines, Indonesia and Laos, in preparation for the development and putting into operation of an ASEAN-wide self-certification system by 2015.––Roumina M. Pablo
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