BOC sets rules on penalties for lifting of implied abandoned goods

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Implied abandonment is when there is failure to do the following: lodge/file the goods declaration; pay the assessed duties and taxes; submit the required permit; claim the goods; or mark the goods. Image courtesy of [name of the image creator] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  • Customs Administrative Order 13-2020 sets guidelines on penalties and other charges for the lifting or claiming of implied abandonment of goods
  • It also provides rules on penalties and other charges for recovery by the importer of part of the proceeds from sale of such goods
  • CAO 13-2020 covers all impliedly abandoned goods, whether for consumption, warehousing, admission or transshipment
  • Implied abandonment of goods may be lifted upon request of the claimant, subject to payment of fees and charges

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has issued guidelines on penalties, surcharges, interests, and other charges imposed on the importer or owner seeking the lifting of the decree of implied abandonment of goods.

Customs Administrative Order (CAO) No. 13-2020 also covers penalties and other charges to be paid by the importer to recover part of the proceeds from the sale of such goods.

The order was signed by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on October 21 and Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero on October 7. It takes effect 15 calendar days after its publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of national circulation.

The CAO is in relation to CAO 17-2019, which provides guidelines on the kinds, effects, and treatment of abandoned imported goods, and is pursuant to relevant provisions of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

CAO 3-2020 covers all impliedly abandoned goods, whether for consumption, warehousing, admission or transshipment.

Implied abandonment is when there is failure to do the following: lodge/file the goods declaration; pay the assessed duties and taxes; submit the required permit; claim the goods; or mark the goods.

The implied abandonment of goods may be lifted by the district collector upon request of the owner, importer or consignee after payment of fees and charges as provided under CAO 13-2020.

To claim impliedly abandoned goods, the owner, importer or consignee may request the lifting or setting aside of the decree of abandonment, and pay the required fees and charges.

Once the implied abandonment is lifted and unless the imported goods have already been released, the owner, importer or consignee may reclaim the goods by lodging or filing the corresponding goods declaration.

The owner or importer may likewise claim proceeds from the sale of the imported goods once any duty and tax and all other charges and expenses incurred have been deducted. To do this, the claimant may file a request at the Office of the District Collector within 30 calendar days from payment of the auction price by the winning bidder.

The penalties for the lifting of abandonment, claiming of impliedly abandoned goods, or recovery of proceeds from their sale depend on the reason the goods were considered impliedly abandoned. The penalties will also depend on whether a decree of abandonment has already been issued or not.

Penalties range from P1,000 to as much as P30,000, with some requiring plus 20% of the excess of the de minimis value.

There is also a docket request charge ranging from P300 to P10,000, and a documentary stamp tax (DST) of P30.

A surcharge of 10% or 25% if more than one year and an interest of 20% per annum from date of final assessment will likewise be imposed for failure to pay the assessed duties and taxes within 15 calendar days from final assessment.

The same surcharge and interest will be levied for failure to pay the assessed duties and taxes in the case of regulated goods which are subject of an alert order within 15 calendar days from final assessment after receipt of the order of release and lifting the alert, or order lifting the alert.

For the request for proceeds from the sale of impliedly abandoned goods, a penalty of P30,000 or 20%, whichever is higher, will be imposed, plus a docket request charge of P10,000 and DST of P30.

The docket and request charge will be paid by the claimant after filing the request, and proof of payment should be attached for the request to be accepted. The penalty, surcharge, interest and DST should be paid once the request or appeal is approved. The order lifting the abandonment or setting aside the decree of abandonment will not be released without proof of payment. – Roumina Pablo