The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is now implementing a 3 p.m. cut-off time for filing the goods declaration (GD) and single administrative document (SAD).
The cut-off time was implemented starting October 1 after it was observed that the bulk of goods declarations and SADs were being filed late in the afternoon, while very few were being filed in the morning, “resulting in the afternoon slowdown of the E2M system due to sheer volume,” Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said in a memo dated and signed on September 25.
The new cut-off time, which is in effect on weekdays, aims to avoid the slowdown of the bureau’s electronic-to-mobile (E2M) system in the afternoon “thereby resulting in the faster processing of their filed GD/SAD.”
“This will also ensure that the EPU [Entry Processing Unit] will have time to review and scrutinize the documents submitted and that the assigned Examiner will have sufficient time to devote to each entry to maintain quality of examination and computation of duties and taxes, taking into account also sub-section 4.2 of CMC (Customs Memorandum Circular) 39-2010 which mandates the completion of the assessment process within 24 hours from filing of the consumption GD/SAD,” Guerrero added.
The Customs commissioner has ordered all concerned BOC officials to inform stakeholders of the new cut-off time and “encourage them to avail of the morning window to file their GD/SAD.”
Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. (CCBI) president Adones Carmona, in text messages to PortCalls, said customs brokers are “unwillingly complying” with the new policy that he noted has been issued “without the benefit of public consultation.”
Carmona explained that the GD and SAD were being filed in the afternoon because in the morning, customs brokers were paying the shipping charges, which usually entailed queuing. In addition, lodgement with value-added service providers sometimes led to delays.
He stated that CCBI’s stand on the issue is for BOC to “update their system and not allow stakeholders to suffer with their system inefficiency.” He added that BOC could still accept the filing beyond 3 p.m. and proceed with the processing the next day.