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The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has issued a new order providing guidelines on export cargo clearance formalities and issuance of certificate of origin (CO) and proof of origin.

Customs Administrative Order (CAO) No. 08-2020 applies to all export shipments loaded at any airport or seaport in all collection districts and subports, including those coming from Free zones, customs bonded warehouses (CBW), and other premises under the jurisdictional supervision and control of BOC, whether subject to export duty or not. It also covers foreign goods for transit and immediate exportation.

CAO 08-2020’s scope includes COs and other proofs of origin to be issued in accordance with the Operational Certification Procedures (OCP) on Rules of Origin (ROO) under various free trade agreements (FTA) and other similar international arrangements or agreements.

CAO 08-2020, which implements Title V Chapter 1 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), was signed by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on April 16 and Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero on February 27. It takes effect 30 days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation or in the Official Gazette.

Under CAO 08-2020, exporters are classified as regular exporters (RE) and non-regular exporters (NRE).

Regular exporters include CBW operators, Free zone locators, and third parties acting on behalf of exporters, and other regular exporters accredited with the BOC.

NREs are those not accredited as regular exporter with the BOC, and once-a-year exporters who had one exportation within 365 days prior to application for registration as NRE.

Entities intending to export goods should be registered with the BOC’s Client Profile Registration System (CPRS) or future automated system as may be developed by the customs bureau.

All shipments intended for export, whether subject to export duty or not, should be covered with an export declaration electronically lodged by exporters or their authorized representatives to BOC’s automated system.

The description of goods in the export declaration must contain sufficient and specific information for statistical purposes as well as for the proper valuation and classification of the goods.

If applicable, products should conform to export standard grades established by the government. The packaging of goods should likewise be labeled and marked in accordance with related laws and regulations.  Export declaration may not be granted for goods violating these requirements.

BOC may issue a special permit to load or authority to load, in lieu of the export declaration to be filed by the exporter, on the following:

  • Foreign goods for immediate re-exportation
  • Empty containers
  • Transit goods from inland customs office to a port of entry as exit point for outright exportation
  • Human remains
  • Diplomatic shipments
  • Misrouted or mis-sorted baggage or shipments
  • Accompanied baggage under Section 800 (h) of the CMTA
  • Other goods as may be identified by the Customs commissioner through a Customs Memorandum Order

The application and processing of special permit to load should follow exiting procedures on its issuance.

Goods subject to regulation should be exported only after securing the necessary export declaration, clearances, licenses, and any other requirements, prior to exportation.

Any exporter may apply for the issuance of CO, with or without preferential tariff treatment, through a system allowing electronic exchange of CO among respective FTAs. In the event the system is not yet available, CO in paper form should be issued by BOC’s Export Division or its equivalent unit.

BOC or any designated government agency may determine the origin of goods for export and may carry out proper examination, if warranted. After verification, the CO may be issued by BOC, by any concerned special economic and/or Freeport zone authority, subject to the concurrence of BOC.

The criteria for granting CO should be in accordance to ROO and OCP under an FTA or tariff preference scheme to which the Philippines is a party or beneficiary.

According to the book “Understanding International Trade, Tariff and Customs” authored by former BOC deputy commissioner Atty. Agaton Teodoro Uvero, the CMTA expressly allows a designated agency, other than BOC, to determine the origin and issue the corresponding CO. In addition, exporters may be allowed to adopt a self-certification system.

The self-certification scheme under CAO 08-2020 states that BOC may also authorize an exporter to issue a proof of origin certifying the origin of the goods concerned pursuant to the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement, or any international agreement, treaty or memorandum of understanding that the Philippines may enter into.

The following export shipments will be subject to physical examination or non-intrusive inspection:

  • Shipments as directed by the Customs commissioner on account of derogatory information
  • Shipments subject of alert orders or pre-lodgment control order
  • Export goods previously imported under re-exported bond
  • Export goods selected for inspection under risk management system
  • Returned shipments
  • Exportation of logs which is subject to payment of export duty

The cost of examination will be shouldered by the exporter. All expenses incurred by BOC for the handling and storage of goods and other necessary operations will also be chargeable against the goods, and will constitute a lien thereon.

BOC personnel should monitor the stuffing of goods for export into the container at the exporter’s premises or the bureau’s designated examination area utilizing ICT-enabled systems, CCTVs, and other available technology. The physical examination or inspection may be conducted before or during the stuffing of the goods for export.

Pending an electronic system governing the submission of documentary requirements, processing of export declaration and CO, and data monitoring, the current system will be utilized to implement CAO 08-2020.

CAO 08-2020 requires exporters to keep records of all activities, including in whole or in part, records on exported goods for a period of three years from the date of filing of export declaration, unless otherwise required by international agreement.

Violations to CAO 08-2020 will be penalized in accordance to Title XIV (Offenses and Penalties) of the CMTA and other applicable penal provision. – Roumina Pablo

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