Home » Maritime » Philippine customs to require manifest from domestic carriers

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) is asking domestic shipping lines to submit copies of their domestic inward manifest to help the agency’s anti-smuggling drive.

BOC North Harbor collector Atty. Nelson Belen said a request to this effect has been sent to shipping lines operating out of the North Harbor, including members of the Philippine Liner Shipping Association (PLSA).

BOC currently relies only on manifests submitted by foreign shipping lines to monitor transit cargo handled by local shipping lines.

Acceding to the BOC request may be tricky for domestic carriers though. A PLSA source told PortCalls that for domestic lines to submit a copy of the domestic inward manifest to the BOC, they would first have to secure such a copy from the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

Under Executive Order 493, domestic shipping lines are required to submit three copies of their domestic inward manifest to the PPA. If any other agency wants a copy, they would have to secure the same from the port agency.

“We have procedures that also limit our documentation and control,” the PLSA source who requested anonymity said.

“If BOC wants a copy of our manifest, they should get it from PPA… this will liberate us from additional cost (brought about by) the provision of another copy of our documents aside from possible delays in our commercial operations.”

The BOC is hard-pressed to stop rampant smuggling, which robs the national coffers of an estimated P200 billion in revenues each year.

The agency is automating import and export processes and regularly filing smuggling cases to deter illegal entry of shipments.

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