Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade, Exclusives » BOC rolls out guidelines on VASP accreditation

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The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has released new guidelines on the accreditation and monitoring of value-added service providers (VASP) providing front-end services for the agency’s Electronic-to-Mobile (e2m) System.

The rules are contained in Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 15-2020 and took effect on July 17. The order implements Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 10-2019, which laid down rules on outsourcing of BOC’s non-sovereign functions, such as value-added and fuel marking services, to private entities.

Under CMO 15-2020, accredited VASPs should provide front-end services for the receipt and transmission of electronic data and documents required by the e2m system.

A VASP Accreditation Committee (VAC) headed by a chairman who must be a deputy commissioner is responsible for the accreditation of VASPs. The VAC may also establish a technical working group to provide guidelines on the operational and technical standards to be complied with by VASPs, as well as make recommendations to VAC on other related matters.

BOC currently has three accredited VASPs: Cargo Data Exchange Center, E-Konek Pilipinas, Inc., and InterCommerce Network Services, Inc.

Selected VASPs will be given accreditation for three years renewable thereafter, subject to payment of annual fee, evaluation of the quality of their performance, and continued compliance with eligibility requirements.

BOC may also carry out further accreditation processes after three years of operation of initially accredited VASPs.

The customs bureau may pre-terminate the accreditation of VASPs for violations of CMO 15-2020 and their service level agreement and non-disclosure agreement, violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and other related laws, actions inimical to the security and integrity of BOC operations, and other violations that may be determined by the Customs commissioner.

VASPs should determine its fee structure based on several factors such as market conditions and system sustainability requirements, and any change to the fee structure should be subject to the approval of the Customs commissioner upon the recommendation of the VAC.

BOC may collect a service fee for monitoring and supervision of the e2m-VASP systems equivalent to 10% of the fees collected in accordance with the published rate.

For purposes of customs procedures, electronic data coming from the e2m-VASPs systems such as documents, permits, licenses or certificates should be acceptable and have legal effect, validity and enforceability as any other document or legal writing.

BOC should give VASPs prior notice on changes in customs procedures to enable their systems to make the necessary changes and ensure compliance. – Roumina Pablo

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