Home » Customs & Trade » Advance manifest implementation nears with second VASP

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) is set to accredit a second value-added service provider (VASP) in the next few days, the missing piece in the implementation of the advance inward foreign manifest (IFM) requirement.

In an interview, Customs deputy commissioner Alexander Arevalo said the accreditation of a second VASP will trigger initial testing of the advance IFM requirement and its eventual implementation by yearend.

Arevalo said shipping lines, represented by the Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL), have asked the BOC to defer testing and full implementation of the IFM until a second VASP has been accredited to ensure proper handling of data from their member lines.

AISL has dropped an earlier plan to develop its own system to handle the advance IFM requirement and will instead use the services of the VASPs.

“By middle of this month, maybe we could start the parallel run of the IFM between the BOC, AISL, Intercommerce Network Service (INS) and one of the three remaining VASP applicants and tentatively schedule full implementation by the start of the last quarter of 2007,” Arevalo said.

INS is so far the only BOC-accredited VASP.

Arevalo said the bureau is also talking to the Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association to join the parallel testing.

“We are also set to come out with implementing guidelines of the project in the next few days pending resolution of some aspects such as rates and downtime,” Arevalo said.

The parallel testing for the IFM only involves electronic and actual submission of the manifest to the BOC for counterchecking to determine how fast the VASP system would react to voluminous entries.

Under CAO 1-2007, the BOC requires shipping lines, non-vessel operating common carriers, cargo consolidators, co-loaders and breakbulk agents to electronically provide through accredited VASPs accurate data on vessels and cargoes at any port 12 hours prior to their arrival.

The move is also related to implementation of other BOC projects such as the single-window transaction and AsycudaWorld.

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