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BOC sets rules on informal entry goods clearance

  • The Bureau of Customs has prescribed rules for the clearance of goods under the informal entry process
  • Customs Administrative Order No. 02-2021 aims to segregate importation of personal and household effects and other qualified non-commercial goods, not intended for sale and commerce, from commercial importation of highly dutiable goods intended for commercial purposes
  • CAO 02-2021 applies to all imports cleared through the informal entry process, whether or not subject to payment of duties and taxes
  • The new order does not apply to accompanied baggage, de minimis importations and relief consignments, which will be covered by their respective regulations

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has set rules for clearance of goods under the informal entry process.

Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 02-2021 aims to identify and segregate the importation of personal and household effects and other qualified non-commercial goods, not intended for sale and commerce, from the mainstream of commercial importation of highly dutiable goods intended for commercial purposes.

The order was signed by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on May 18 and Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero on May 4. It takes effect 30 days after publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.

CAO 02-2021 applies to all importations cleared through the informal entry process, whether or not subject to payment of duties and taxes, except accompanied baggage, de minimis importations, and relief consignments, which will be covered by their respective regulations.

The following shipments should be cleared through the informal entry process:

  • Goods of commercial nature with Free on Board (FOB) or Free Carrier (FCA) value of less than P50,000
  • Personal and household effects or goods, not in commercial quantity, whether or not subject to duties and/or taxes
  • Conditionally tax and/or duty-exempt importations under Section 800 of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA)
  • Those falling under the remaining sub-paragraphs of Section 800 of CMTA, conditionally tax and/or duty-exempt importations will fall under informal entry process provided that its FOB or FCA value as determined by BOC is less than P50,000
  • Clearance of previously imported diplomatic supplies and equipment of foreign embassies and tax-exempt institutions sold to a non-privileged buyer will be manually processed under BOC’s Informal Entry Division

Importation of motor vehicles, motorcycles and motor scooters regardless of the consignees, including those under Section 800 of the CMTA, meanwhile, will be under the formal entry process.

Goods declaration must be lodged within 15 calendar days from date of discharge of the last package from the vessel or aircraft. This may be extended upon written request on valid grounds for another 15 calendar days upon approval of the Customs collector, as may be authorized by the Customs commissioner.

Provisional goods declaration may be allowed to facilitate trade and prevent goods from being declared abandoned. BOC will assign a specific code to identify that the goods declaration is provisional in nature upon lodgment. Goods declaration will be considered full and completed insofar as supporting documents and information are concerned if the declarant does not indicate the provisional nature of such lodgment.

In applying risk management, BOC will utilize profiling techniques to determine the risk of imports, using selectivity parameters to be determined by the bureau.

Examination of goods, when required by BOC, should be conducted immediately after the goods declaration is lodged.

On abandonment, provisions under Chapter 6 (Abandonment) Title XI of the CMTA will apply to goods cleared under informal entry process.

BOC will collect import processing fees, container security fees, and documentary stamp tax for goods declaration lodged under the informal entry process at rates to be prescribed under a separate CAO on customs service fees, dues, and charges.

To enhance customs control and support cost-effective paperless customs operations, BOC should, after consulting with affected parties and stakeholders, develop, implement, or outsource an information and communications technology-enabled customs cargo clearance system for informal entry process based on international standards.

Any person who attempts to lodge, process, and clear imported goods by means of false or fraudulent statements will face sanctions and penalties under the CMTA and other applicable penal provisions.

The new CAO implements Section 402 (Goods Declaration for Consumption), Section 800 (Conditionally Tax and/or Duty-Exempt Importation), and other relevant provisions of CMTA. – Roumina Pablo

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