Home » Customs & Trade, Press Releases » BOC steps up campaign vs non-compliant importers

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The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has so far inspected about 58% or 1,829 of 3,175 importers the agency has accredited, finding 212 have misrepresented information they provided when they applied for accreditation.

BOC through its Enforcement Security Service (ESS), Customs Intelligence Investigation Service (CIIS), and Account Management Office (AMO), are currently verifying, inspecting, and investigating accredited customs brokers, importers, and warehouse operators nationwide.

“The campaign is aimed at weeding out unscrupulous individuals who aim to use their acquired accreditation for illegal activities. ESS and CIIS personnel were tasked to physically visit and verify registered offices and warehouses. Coordination with local barangay units were also done to ascertain the legitimacy of accredited stakeholders,” BOC said in a statement.

BOC noted those who do not meet the requirement or who were verified to have misrepresented information in their accreditation may face sanctions that include revocation of their accreditation with the customs bureau.

BOC in an earlier statement said that to expedite accreditation approval during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) period, AMO issued provisional accreditation pending results of actual inspection of importers’ offices, a basic requirement for approval of accreditation.

READ: BOC expedites accreditation process during ECQ

Assistant commissioner and spokesperson Atty. Vincent Philip Maronilla said post-validation of the business or office address provided by importers when they applied for accreditation remains a key step in accreditation especially during the pandemic when BOC is implementing “extraordinary measures to speed up” cargo clearance.

He said the validation makes sure accredited importers are legitimate or they are not taking advantage of eased importation rules—particularly for medical supplies and equipment—while the country is under a state of public health emergency.

He said BOC’s Intelligence Group, together with the Philippine Coast Guard and Armed Forces of the Philippines, have taken advantage of less road traffic during the ECQ period to inspect the business or office address provided by importers.

He noted that BOC inspectors, considering that majority of businesses were closed during the ECQ period, had only checked if the importer’s office is registered with the building or have proper signage.

Non-compliant importers—majority of which had no business signage or were not registered with the building—were notified through electronic mails by AMO after the inspection and their accreditations were revoked.

As of June 6, 25 importers have requested for re-inspection and 16 of which were already re-inspected, BOC said. Of the 16 importers, 12 importers have already had their accreditations reactivated upon full compliance.

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