BOC lays out guidelines for Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act


Cargo shipThe Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) has released guidelines operationalizing some sections of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Foreign Ships Co-loading Act.

Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 16-2016, signed June 10 and which took effect immediately, operationalizes Sections 6, 7, and 8 of Joint Department Administrative Order (JDAO) No. 001-2016, which sets the IRR for Republic Act (RA) No. 10668 or “An Act Allowing Foreign Vessels to Transport and Co-Load Foreign Cargoes for Domestic Transshipment and for Other Purposes.” RA 10668 specifically allows foreign shipping lines to dock at multiple Philippine ports and co-load import and export cargoes cleared by the BOC.

The JDAO released last May covers foreign cargo vessels carrying foreign containers or foreign cargoes, whether containerized, bulk, or break bulk.

READ: Implementing rules for PH Co-Loading Act out

Section 6 of the JDAO provides the rules for co-loading import cargo; Section 7 for co-loading export cargo; and Section 8 for co-loading empty containers.

Asked if foreign liners calling Philippine ports will take advantage of the Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act now that its IRR has been released, Association of International Shipping Lines general manager Atty. Maximino Cruz told PortCalls in a text message that “the initiative should come from local shippers as they are the primary beneficiaries.”

“The ports most likely to get involved are the Manila ports (MICT and ATI), Cebu and Davao,” Cruz added.

READ: PH stakeholders hail signing of Co-loading Act

Co-loading import cargo

Under CMO 16-2016, the electronic inward foreign manifest (e-IFM) for import cargoes should indicate the registry number of the carrying vessel and be submitted to both the transit port and the final port of discharge.

The transferor vessel—the foreign vessel that will transfer the foreign cargo to a receiving vessel—has to submit the corresponding e-IFM at the transit port using bill of lading (B/L) nature code “24.” The recipient vessel will then submit the corresponding e-IFM for the co-loaded cargoes at the final port of discharge using B/L nature code “23.”

Next, the foreign ship operator or agent of the foreign receipt vessel must request a permit for co-loading with the Office of the Deputy Collector for Operations (ODCO), or its equivalent office, at the port concerned at least 12 hours before the vessel arrives.

The approved permit for co-loading must be immediately sent via email or fax by the ODCO (or equivalent office) at the port of discharge to the Office of the Deputy Collector at the port of final destination.

The CMO said the port operator should place transit containers together for accessibility.

“The containers for co-loading shall not be included in the port terminal operator’s automated system such as Terminal Appointment Booking System, gate pass, etc. since the containers are for temporary movement only,” the CMO states.

The terminal operator must also ensure that only cargoes indicated in the approved permit are co-loaded onto the recipient vessel.

The ODCO at the port of discharge should, for cargoes to be co-loaded, follow the procedure for manual discharge under BOC’s electronic-to-mobile (e2m) system. The Online Release System instruction received by the port terminal operator from BOC will be tagged as “misrouted” in the e2m system so that a gate pass need not be issued for such cargoes.

When coming from a Philippine port and proceeding to another Philippine port, the foreign ship operator or agent of a foreign vessel carrying foreign cargoes to its final port of discharge is required to submit to the Bay Service Section at the transit port or sub-port the notice of discharge to its next Philippine port of call before departing.

Export cargo, empty boxes

Export cargoes, on the other hand, must be covered by an export declaration at the port of loading, “whether or not passing through another Philippine port of entry or for domestic transfer and discharge by a foreign vessel to another Philippine port of entry before the same is loaded for export in another foreign vessel for delivery to the foreign port of destination,” declares the order.

The CMO also states that empty foreign boxes going to or coming from any Philippine port, or going to or coming from a foreign port and being transshipped between two Philippines ports, will be allowed.

Foreign vessels are to be allowed to load or co-load empty containers in the following instances: from any port in the Philippines to any Philippine port of entry for repositioning abroad or for use by Philippine exporters; when loading import cargo from the port of entry or transhipment port to the port of final destination; and when loading export cargo from the port of origin in the Philippines to another Philippine port where the same shall be immediately exported or utilized by Philippine exporters.

BOC will be issuing a special permit to load for domestic movement (SPL-DM) in case the empty container is transferred from one Philippine port to another and a special permit to load for immediate exportation (SPL-IE) in case the foreign empty container is loaded by a foreign vessel for immediate exportation.

The memorandum further dispenses with the requirement for boat notes. However, BOC will be collecting an administrative fee of P500, to be paid at the collection division of the concerned port.

Masters or agents of vessels that don’t comply with the requirements of the CMO will be fined P10,000. – Roumina Pablo