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BOC revises accreditation rules for importers, brokers

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has amended its accreditation guidelines for importers and customs brokers to ensure accredited importers are not “used as dummies thus maximizing accountability of real importers.”

Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 31-2019, among others, no longer requires new importers to submit a list of importables in their application. Instead, they are required to present proof of financial capacity to import goods, such as bank certificate or other financial certification. This requirement, however, does not apply to top 1,000 taxpayers and companies under BOC’s Super Green Lane program.

The order took effect on July 8 and amends requirements set in CMO 05-2018, which was issued in 2018 after the Department of Finance directed the return to BOC of the sole authority to accredit importers and register customs brokers. In 2014, accreditation was done in two parts: first with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and then with BOC.

CMO 31-2019 removes the need to provide the address of the leased or owned warehouse where the imported goods are intended to be stored, but it does require photos of the facility.

In addition, it requires two valid government IDs with the picture of the president, aside from that of the applicant and the company’s responsible officers, the latter a previous requirement under CMO 05-2018.

Other retained requirements for new importers include:

  • Application form (notarized, completely filled out, and signed by the responsible officer);
  • Bureau of Customs Official Receipt (BCOR) evidencing payment of processing fee (P1,000);
  • Corporate secretary certificate (for corporation)/affidavit (for sole proprietorship)/partnership resolution (for partnership)/Board of Directors resolution (for cooperatives) for designated signatories in the import entries;
  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Clearance of Applicant (issued within three months prior to the application); Photocopy of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) registration or Securities and Exchange Commission Registration/Articles of Partnership and latest General Information Sheet (GIS), or Cooperative Development Authority registration and latest Cooperative Annual Progress Report, whichever is applicable;
  • Personal profile of applicant, president, and responsible officers;
  • Company profile with pictures of office with proper and permanent signage, and pictures of warehouse/storage area;
  • Proof of lawful occupancy of office address and warehouse;
  • Printed Client Profile Registration System (CPRS) record and updated notification of “stored” CPRS status;
  • BIR registration (2303);
  • Income Tax Return (ITR) for the past three years duly received by the BIR;
  • Valid Mayor’s Permit as certified by the Bureau of Permits and Licensing Office; and
  • Endorsement from the district collector, if applicable.

For renewal of importer’s accreditation, CMO 31-2019 now requires a duly accomplished and notarized Application Form for Renewal, and a BCOR indicating payment of P1,000.

If there are updates or changes in the company information, necessary documents must be submitted. But if there are no changes in material information, a duly accomplished and notarized Affidavit of No Change in Company Information using CMO 31-2019’s prescribed form must be submitted.

Other retained requirements for renewal of importers’ accreditation are:

  • Updated GIS (for corporation)/DTI registration (for sole proprietorship)/Articles of Partnership (for partnership)/Cooperative Development Authority (for cooperatives);
  • Updated printed CPRS record and updated “stored” CPRS notification;
  • Latest ITR;
  • Valid Mayor’s Permit

For new applicant customs brokers, some of the requirements have changed from those of CMO 05-2019, but are similar to requirements listed under the recently released Customs Administrative Order (CAO) No. 05-2019, which provides guidelines for registration of customs brokers and their representatives.

Under CMO 31-2019, customs brokers just need to submit a photocopy of their valid Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) card. However, female customs brokers whose PRC ID card reflects their maiden name must submit a copy of their marriage contract issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Other retained requirements include:

  • Application form (notarized and completely filled-out);
  • List of clients with complete address and contact details;
  • List of representatives with personal details, photos, and specimen signatures;
  • Printed CPRS profile with notification of “stored” status;
  • BIR Registration (2303);
  • Latest ITR duly received by BIR;
  • NBI Clearance;
  • Certificate of Good Standing issued by a PRC-accredited national organization of customs brokers

For customs brokers renewing their registration, requirements include a duly accomplished and notarized Application Form for Renewal. However, under CMO 31-2019, the BCOR fee for renewal is only P1,000, while it is P1,500 under CAO 05-2019.

CMO 31-2019 also no longer requires an updated profile of the customs broker, as well as an updated list of clients with complete address and contact details; and updated list of representatives with personal details, photos, and specimen signatures.

If there are no updates or changes in the previously declared information, an Affidavit of No Change of Information must be submitted. In case of change/s in material information previously declared and submitted, the applicant must submit a notarized Affidavit of Change in Information using CMO 31-2019’s prescribed form, together with supporting documents.

Retained requirements include:

  • Photocopy of valid PRC card;
  • Printed CPRS profile with “stored” status;
  • Latest ITR;
  • NBI Clearance;
  • Certificate of Good Standing issued by a PRC-accredited national organization of customs brokers

Other provisions of CMO 05-2018 not affected by CMO 31-2019 remain in force and in effect. CMO 31-2019 is in pursuant to the Ease of Doing Business Act. – Roumina Pablo



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