Home » Customs & Trade » Slow RA 9280 amendment favors brokers

CUSTOMS brokers opposed to amending Republic Act 9280 or the Customs Brokers Act of 2004 are pleased at the turtle-pace development of such moves in Congress.

Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. (CCBI) president Rolando Quiambao told PortCalls further delays are expected with the next presidential elections just two years down the road. Hearings on the amendments, he added, are almost at a standstill at both Houses of Congress as lawmakers start focusing on the 2010 polls.

“This (delay) is favorable to us. Even with the strong lobby from corporations and brokerage houses, their proposed amendment will really have to take a back seat,” Quiambao said.

“This will also boost our chances of wooing the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to implement provisions of RA 9280 immediately,” he said, adding the delay gives CCBI more time to counter moves by brokerage houses in their bid to allow corporations to customs clear at the BOC.

“We are pushing equal footing with corporations and brokerage houses at the BOC particularly in the prosecution of violations of customs laws… the current set-up is really to the disadvantage of brokers,” Quiambao said.

Since July, Lower House hearings on three bills seeking to amend RA 9280 have not moved. The bills seek to allow corporations to sign customs entries as long as they hire the services of at least one licensed and BOC-accredited customs broker, an amendment opposed by brokers.

At the Upper House, hearings have also been delayed with the continuous detention of Sen. Antonio Trillanes, who chairs the Civil Service Committee looking into the RA 9280 amendment. Trillanes is facing rebellion charges.

Senators of the other committees hearing the amendment have also deferred their decision to preside over the hearings.

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