BOC releases rules on transshipment goods processing

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transshipment goods processing
Customs Memorandum Order 15-2022 applies to all goods clearly indicated on the transshipment foreign cargo manifest as bound for a foreign destination other than the port of discharge.
  • Customs rules on processing goods for transshipment and the requirements for accreditation of transshippers are now in place in the country
  • Customs Memorandum Order No. 15-2022 took effect on June 6
  • CMO 15-2022 applies to all goods indicated on the transshipment foreign cargo manifest as bound for a foreign destination other than the port of discharge
  • When electronic lodgment of declaration of transhipment goods is implemented in BOC’s computer system, all entities engaged in transshipment must apply with the bureau for accreditation as transhippers

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has released rules on processing goods for transshipment and the requirements for accreditation of transhippers.

Customs Memorandum Order No. 15-2022 took effect on June 6. The CMO implements Customs Administrative Order No. 12-2019, which provides guidelines on the movement, transfer, and clearance of transshipment goods.

Transshipment is the process of moving imported goods under customs control from the importing vessel to an exporting vessel within the area of the customs importation and exportation office.

Previously, under the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, transshipment referred to the transfer of goods from one Customs office to another. Under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), this procedure has been differentiated and is now called customs transit.

CMO 15-2022 applies to all goods clearly indicated on the transshipment foreign cargo manifest as bound for a foreign destination other than the port of discharge.

Goods intended for transshipment should not be subject to payment of duties and taxes, provided, that the transshipment goods declaration particularly indicates such nature of the goods and is duly supported by commercial or transport documents or evidence as required by BOC.

Upon implementation of the electronic lodgment of goods declaration for transshipment in BOC’s computer system, all entities engaged in transshipping must apply for BOC accreditation as transhippers.

This will include cargo forwarders, consolidators, shipping lines, air express cargo operators (AECO), and other similar entities with transshipment operations.

A separate CMO will be issued governing the procedures for accreditation of transhippers and their authorized customs brokers.

Under CMO 15-2022, a request for issuance of a transshipment permit should be made at the Office of the Deputy Collector for Operations or its equivalent officer in the port where the goods for transshipment were discharged.

Until such time that BOC’s computer system allows electronic lodgement of the transshipment goods declaration, the transshipment permit (TP or BOC Form No. 199) will continue to be used.

Unless subject to derogatory information or there is a clear violation of existing laws, or upon the written request of the carrier’s representative agent, goods for transshipment should remain unopened in the original packing containers under the original shipper’s seal and should not be inspected or examined at the port or airport of discharge.

In case there is a need to conduct an examination, the collection district should document and explain its reasons for the examination and attach the same to the approved TP. Non-intrusive inspection or physical examination for purposes of verification should be made in the presence of a representative from the carrier and, if applicable, the concerned regulatory agency.

Transshipped goods should be under continuous under-guarding from the time of discharge from the carrier until the transfer to the customs facility and warehouse (CFW), or from their exit from the CFW to their loading for exportation through the carrying vessel or aircraft.

Goods from a foreign port may be transshipped direct from the carrying vessel/aircraft to another vessel/aircraft engaged in foreign trade upon receipt of written permission from the BOC collector.

Bulk and break-bulk cargoes for transshipment should either be discharged directly into the receiving vessel if it comes alongside, or otherwise transhipped on lighters or discharged at the pier for eventual loading to the receiving vessel.

Lighters carrying the transshipment cargo should remain underguard until the cargo is loaded onto the receiving vessel and properly received by the master of the vessel.

The BOC port will allow in-transit transfer of goods for transshipment under several instances provided by CMO 15-2022.

Goods intended for transshipment must be loaded onto the exporting vessel or carrier within 30 calendar days from the date of arrival. For this purpose, the exportation begins when the carrying vessel or aircraft leaves the Philippine territory. BOC will allow an extension of such period for valid causes, CMO 15-2022 states.

In case of failure to load within the period allowed, the transshipment goods will be treated by BOC as regular importation.

In-transit goods in containers should be equipped with the electronic customs seal under BOC’s Electronic Tracking of Containerized Cargo System.

Foreign cargo unloaded from an aircraft may be transferred and loaded under customs supervision and control onto another aircraft for its scheduled flight from the same airport to its final destination abroad. Transshipment of such cargo may be direct from aircraft to aircraft or from a CFW to the aircraft, subject to compliance with the provisions of CMO 15-2022.

The order also provides the rules for the transshipment of goods covered by international conventions and agreements, as well as strategic goods for transshipment.

Penalties will be imposed on the following violations:

  • Unloading of goods for transshipment before arrival at port of entry
  • Unloading of goods for transshipment at the improper time and place after arrival
  • Failure to supply the advance and requisite manifest
  • Disappearance of manifested goods for transshipment
  • False statement of the port of final destination of the transshipment goods

As provided under CAO 12-2019, BOC will be collecting supervision fees for all transshipment goods. The fee will be P1,000 per 20-foot container if the port of entry is the Port of Manila or the Manila International Container Port, and P100 in other ports of entry.

For goods to be transshipped via air, a service fee of P1 per kilogram shall be paid by the freight forwarder or its authorized agent. For break-bulk cargo like motor vehicles, one unit will be considered equivalent to one 20-footer. – Roumina Pablo