Home » 3PL/4PL, Customs & Trade, Exclusives, Uncategorized » BOC mulls NVVS suspension after House recommendation

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The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is reviewing its National Value Verification System (NVVS) and mulling its suspension as requested by the House of Representatives (HOR) Committee on Ways and Means.

“We are seriously looking into the recommendation of the HOR as well as reviewing the current system of the NVVS,” BOC assistant commissioner and spokesperson Atty. Vincent Philip Maronilla told PortCalls in a text message.

“There were points of concerns raised by the HOR Ways and Means Committee and that is now the subject of our review and re-evaluation of NVVS together with the committee’s recommendation,” Maronilla added.

AAMBIS-OWA Party List representative Sharon Garin, in a Committee on Ways and Means hearing on December 9, motioned for BOC to suspend NVVS over issues raised by stakeholders and because of the possibility that it may be violating the World Trade Organization’s methods of valuation.

Committee chair and Albay second district representative Joey Salceda, during the hearing, said: “Gusto lang namin magkaroon ng [We just want] conditions para hindi siya [to ensure NVVS is not] subject to internal abuse.”

“Just accept it (suspension). It’s a friendly advice from the Committee on Ways and Means. Just focus on the structural elements of your deficit. It’s huge, I’m telling you, it’s huge,” Salceda said.

He clarified that the suspension is “not a judgment on the merits of the NVVS,” but that the committee just wants “to study whether we are not violating an international agreement.”

NVVS is an internal BOC system formally launched last June that may be accessed by customs assessment officers to verify whether the value declared by the importer is the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to the Philippines. Value verification will be based on the previous importation, on similar and identical goods at the same period of importation, and on other methods of valuation available under Republic Act No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

However, there have been complaints and concerns from stakeholders since the system was implemented, including from the Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. (CCBI) and Bureau of Customs Employees Association (BOCEA).

CCBI, in a letter to Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero dated November 12, cited instances of “non-acceptance of the proof of payment as evidence for shipments with higher NVVS compared to the declared value.”

“There are many instances wherein shipments have been upgraded to match the NVVS value despite the submission of complete documents with proof of payments,” CCBI claimed.

BOCEA, in a statement, said they “strongly reject” the implementation of NVVS, claiming it is anti-trade facilitation as it “forces” customs officers “to adopt a valuation that is based on a database of previously utilized values with a per-kilogram unit value.”

BOCEA said this is “backward and reverts to a valuations system almost similar to the published value under the home consumption value or the export valuation,” which the group said is “a step-back to the notional dark ages of customs valuation.”

Maronilla had earlier clarified that there was no order instructing customs appraisers to favor the value in the NVVS over the transaction value. He explained that values generated in the agency’s NVVS were only for reference, not a substitute for the transaction value.

CCBI, in a statement on November 18, said Maronilla, in a meeting with the chamber on November 13, suggested that the documents be forwarded to his office for assistance in cases where shipments had been upgraded to match the NVVS value despite the submission of complete documents with proof of payments.

Maronilla also told PortCalls that his office and the Import Assessment Service (IAS) office are open and willing to do an executive session with customs brokers and importers having issues with customs appraisers and NVVS if they are afraid to formally file a complaint for fear of backlash from appraisers. – Roumina Pablo

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