YOU win some, you lose some.
Freight forwarders managed to secure some concessions from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in relation to the implementation of the electronic-to-mobile/import assessment system (e2m/IAS) project. They were, however, unsuccessful in one petition.
At the joint general membership meeting of Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association (PISFA) and the Aircargo Forwarders Philippines Inc last Thursday at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, deputy Customs commissioner Alexander Arevalo said the six-hour rule in the submission of the electronic consolidation cargo manifest (e-CCM) stays.
The BOC has denied the request of forwarders to change the timing of submission of the e-CCM from six hours before vessel arrival to within the first six working hours after vessel arrival under certain instances.
“I am very sorry that Customs can not accommodate your request to extend the deadline by another six office hours,” Arevalo said.
“If we do that, then we will not be able to meet our commitment with Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) to process and release cargoes within 30 minutes or shorter.”
It maybe recalled that PISFA proposed the submission of the e-CCM within the first six working hours after arrival of the vessel under the following circumstances – if the vessels arrive after regular working hours (ie, after 1700 hours of the day and prior to 0800 hours of the following day); and during weekends and on long or extended holidays.
Considering some vessels arrive during nighttime, the association pointed out there is no time for forwarders to prepare the submissions except by extending work hours and by incurring additional cost in terms of equipment and labor expense.
In addition, PISFA said there have been many instances when shipping lines commit errors in their manifest submission, resulting in further delays and exposing forwarders to penalties for late submission of the e-CCM.
But the forwarders were successful in securing a key concession: Arevalo relented on allowing enhancements to e2m/IAS that will accommodate transactions under Delivered Duty Paid (DDP), currently rejected under the system; and skip the requirement of going through the deputy collector for operations for the filing of late manifest.
Under DDP, the shipper pays the shipment duties and taxes. The e2m/IAS, however, requires consignees – which under DDP have no need to pay duties and taxes – a bank reference number.
As for the late manifest filing, a letter to the deputy collector for operations is currently required to explain the cause of the delay and why no penalties should be paid.
Arevalo recognized that the payment of a penalty, if the late submission is not being contested to begin with, should be all it takes to settle late submissions.
Arevalo said the enhancement will take one to two months to operationalize.