The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and DHL Express Phils Corp will collaborate to enhance anti-smuggling strategies and align to global best practices procedures for the clearance of air express shipments.
In a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on December 11, BOC and DHL Express committed to “jointly explore and identify areas of common concern” in order to “maximize efficiency in the clearance of air express consignments” as mandated by the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO TFA) and other international agreements to which the Philippines is a signatory.
Both agreed that “simplification of customs procedures to facilitate trade should go hand in hand with the need to institutionalize anti-corruption measures, transparency, predictability and integrity in order to strike a balance between trade facilitation and Customs control.”
There was also an acknowledgement that “the more challenging task of effectively implementing Customs reform programs and attaining the desired results would demand closer collaboration and increased cooperation between BOC and DHL Express.”
The MOU—signed by Customs commissioner Alberto Lina and DHL Express country manager Nurhayati Abdullah—underscored the growing complexity of international trade owing to globalization, and the pervasive impact of the electronic environment on systems, procedures, and practices of customs administration.
It noted recent trends showing the rapid growth in commercial demand for time-sensitive consignments and the marked increase in trade volumes. These have “compelled Customs administrations to simplify and harmonize systems and procedures consistent with the WTO TFA and other international agreements,” the MOU said.
Areas for cooperation include identifying sources of technical assistance, such as conducting training programs that can upgrade the capability of BOC to institute reforms and modernize its ways.
BOC and DHL agreed as well to “provide the widest avenue for regular consultation and exchange of information using the latest technology that will assist BOC in detecting various kinds of Customs fraud.”
In close coordination with DHL Express, BOC will draw up the implementing guidelines to achieve the goals of the MOU.