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BOC requires earlier submission of sea manifest

ID-100309355The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is now requiring a much earlier submission of the sea manifest.

Customs Administrative Order (CAO) No. 01-2016, dated January 22, 2016 but made available on the BOC website only on March 23, requires shipping lines/ship agents, non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCCs), freight forwarders/cargo consolidators/co-loaders to electronically transmit cargo information to BOC “within 24 hours after the time of departure of carrying vessel from the port of origin, first from the mother vessel or any vessel departing from the actual exporting port of origin and finally, if any, from feeder vessel destined to any importing port in the Philippines.”

The current practice requires submission of the manifest 12 hours before the vessel arrives at a Philippine port.

BOC said the new rule, which is already in effect, will make available to different offices of the customs agency “accurate data and information concerning vessels and cargoes at the earliest possible time in order that said offices may freely utilize the same for risk management, anti-terrorism, law enforcement, and other related purposes.”

It ensures the inward foreign manifest (IFM) and consolidated cargo manifest (CCM) are submitted in the prescribed form, with all the required information of the cargo declaration, at the prescribed time, and to the designated customs officials and offices.

It also enables “BOC to have advance information of cargoes destined to the Philippines in order to track and trace the movement of cargoes from the origin and evaluate the nature & degree of risk of incoming shipments.”

Issue with compliance

This early, some stakeholders are asking if the new CAO might be too difficult to comply with.

Philippine Ship Agents Association (PSAA) president Virgilio Angeles told PortCalls in a text message the new rule “will disrupt commerce” in the country.

“(It would be) too cumbersome for carriers to transmit the info to the BOC (value-added) service provider on a per load port basis” and ship agents with tramp operations would find it “impossible to comply.”

Angeles said PSAA will meet with Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina to discuss the new CAO.

Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association, Inc. president Doris Torres also said they will seek an audience with BOC regarding the new rule.

“That will absolutely affect our (freight forwarders) operations,” Torres told PortCalls in an email. “Big question is, how will BOC operationalize the CAO?”

Association of International Shipping Lines general manager Atty. Maximino Cruz told PortCalls in a text message the group is still “reviewing and assessing each member’s capability to comply particularly on the submission of IFM within 24 hours from departure of vessel at the origin port.”

Leo Morada, CEO of Cargo Data Exchange Center, one of the BOC’s VASPs, pointed out that “Unless otherwise clarified by BOC through a subsequent customs memo order, the new CAO requires two separate advance manifest submissions of import shipments intended for Philippine ports – upon mother vessel departure from port of loading and upon feeder vessel departure from transshipment port.”

CAO 01-2016 covers both containerized and non-containerized cargoes, as well as all shipping lines/ship agents, NVOCCs, and freight forwarders/cargo consolidators/co-loaders whose cargoes are ultimately destined to the Philippines.

Under the new rule, “in case the containerized cargoes ultimately destined to the Philippines are loaded to the mother vessel at the exporting port of origin for intermediate discharge in the major main port and for later transport by a feeder vessel to any importing port in the Philippines, both the concerned shipping line/ship agent and NVOCC/freight forwarder/consolidator shall electronically submit cargo declaration, IFM and CCM to the BOC within 24 hours from the time of departure of the mother vessel from the actual exporting port of origin.”

In case the containerized cargoes are transported by a feeder vessel or any vessel with any port in the Philippines as the port of discharge, the IFM shall be submitted electronically within 24 hours, and the CCM within 36 hours, from the time of departure of the said vessel from the last port of call destined to any importing port in the Philippines.

In case of non-containerized cargoes, the IFM shall also be submitted within 24 hours, and the CCM by the NVOCC, if any, within 36 hours, from the actual exporting port of origin.

Transmission shall be done through the gateway of the BOC directly or through any of the accredited value-added service providers (VASPs), the CAO noted.

Those who fail to submit the required information within the period prescribed are subject to fines in accordance with Section 2521 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP), without prejudice to whatever additional recourse the BOC may pursue against the delinquent party. Under Section 2521, the failure to supply the requisite manifest comes with a fine of from P10,000 to P30,000.

Generic description prohibited

Generic descriptions stated in the IFM of the carrying vessel such as FAK (Freight All Kinds), general cargo and/or similar terminologies shall not be allowed and shall be treated as incomplete information penalized under Section 2521 unless in the form of a consolidated cargo which shall be supported by the CCM submitted by the NVOCC/consolidator/co-loader/breakbulk agent to BOC under the procedures prescribed in the CAO.

“In any case, cargo description in the IFM or CCM shall be precise enough to enable BOC to identify the goods intended to be discharged in the port and take pre-emptive action if warranted,” CAO 01-0216 noted, adding that vague descriptions such as “chemicals”, “foodstuffs”, and “electronics” should be avoided.

Supplemental manifest

Cargoes/containers not listed in the IFM but recorded in the stowage plan shall be covered by a supplemental manifest submitted not later than 48 hours from date of discharge of the last package from the vessel.

For cargoes/containers not listed in the IFM and stowage plan, the supplemental manifest must be submitted not later than 24 hours from date of discharge of last package.

The supplemental manifest shall be submitted in hard copies and electronic form within the period prescribed otherwise the shipments subject of the supplemental manifest shall be considered unmanifested and subject to seizure proceedings.

Two hard copies of the manifest must be submitted immediately upon arrival of the carrying vessel, BOC noted.

The CAO stipulates the Customs commissioner may issue additional rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the order. – Roumina Pablo

Image courtesy of [name of the image creator] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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