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Automated import clearance at DA formally launched

CUSTOMS value-added service provider InterCommerce Network Services (INS) successfully launched its automated import clearance (IC) system at the Department of Agriculture (DA) last week.

The system initially covers sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) imports of three DA agencies — Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI).

Under the system, importers can file their application for import permits electronically via INS 24×7.

Once the import application is filed electronically, the DA will automatically process the application and check whether the items are valid or approved. The approved import permit application will then be electronically sent to the importer and can be printed and shown to DA or customs authorities before cargo release.

At the launch, an import entry of Shinsky Trading at the BPI was filed. “We completed the process and did not experience any error and the system confirmed all the processes involved,” INS president Francis Lopez told PortCalls.

“We expect to encounter very minimal or no problem at all when we start full implementation of the new system” by middle of the month.

INS is now just awaiting publication of the administrative order operationalizing the SPS IC at the DA.

Depending on the kind of shipment, BPI will charge importers a fee ranging from P20 to P30 per entry lodged and BAI, P200 to P500 per entry. BFAR imports carry a fee of P1,650 regardless of the kind of shipment.

The fee which INS as service provider will charge has yet to be determined but Lopez said this will likely be equivalent to the import entry lodgment charge applied by INS on imports of Philippine Economic Zone Authority locators, which is P75 per entry.

INS and DA are now training quarantine officers and other personnel in the use of the new system.


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