Home » Maritime » Philippine Customs may revise transshipment rules

THE Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) is looking at whether there is legal basis to require transshipment cargoes to be entered eventually under consumption entries to allow cargo processing, assessment and payment of duties at the port of discharge.

As practiced, the port of discharge allows the transshipment of containers to the port of destination where the consumption entry will be filed and assessment of duties and taxes will be made.

In a statement, Customs commissioner Angelito Alvarez said he favored changing the rules on transshipment following the discovery in May of nearly 2,000 missing containers covered by transshipment permits from the Port of Manila and the Manila International Container Port to the Port of Batangas.

There is an ongoing congressional inquiry on the missing containers estimated to have cost the government P240 million in lost revenues.

Alvarez said the disadvantages of transshipment to the national government have so far outweighed advantages enjoyed by importers and brokers.

Transhipment, he added, has become a marketing tool for customs collection districts hard pressed to meet their collection targets, and bred unhealthy competition among customs collection districts and other port stakeholders.

Alvarez’s plan only covers cargoes declared under consumption entries. The rules for shipments declared under warehousing entries or those intended for use by locators in export processing zones and other customs bonded facilities would stay as is.

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