Bureau of Customs priorities this year include computerization and implementing an e-commerce program
Full operation of the Authorized Economic Operator program is also eyed
Revenue collection will be improved by tapping non-traditional sources such as auctions and other modes of cargo disposal
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has identified 10 priority projects for 2022, led by implementation of its computerization program.
Implementing a Customs e-Commerce program; enhancing learning and development for employees; and fully operationalizing the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program are also part of the program. Those are in addition to:
- Sustainment of integrity and quality management system
- Enhancement of trade facilitation program
- Improvement of revenue collection
- Enhancement of employee welfare program
- Implementation of organizational restructuring
- Enhancement of performance management system
In an online media briefing on January 27, Planning and Policy Research Division acting chief Atty. Noemi A. Garcia said the top priority of computerization is part of the agency’s goal to fully automate services. BOC this year aims to improve its support services by establishing an administration back office system.
As part of the World Bank-funded Philippine Customs Modernization Program, BOC will also establish a remote image analysis center.
Under the goal of developing competencies of customs employees, learning and development programs will be enhanced with the establishment of learning facilities and systems for e-learning and knowledge management.
Leadership and management trainings will be given focus to ensure top officials will be effective in accomplishing the bureau’s strategic activities.
Focus on AEO program
To continue upon earlier developments, BOC this year aims to fully operationalize its AEO program, which was launched in December 2019.
AEO is an internationally recognized accreditation that indicates a company’s role in the supply chain is secure and reliable, and that any Customs controls and procedures are efficient and compliant.
An AEO refers to an importer, exporter, customs broker, forwarder, freight forwarder, transport provider and any other party involved in the international movement of goods, in whatever function, accredited by the BOC as complying with the World Customs Organization’s SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (SAFE Framework) or equivalent supply chain security standards.
This year, BOC will grant accreditation to top importing companies while at the same time complete the construction of its AEO office.
The agency will actively participate in the ongoing development of an AEO mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) with Association of Southeast Asian Nations member countries.
An MRA refers to a formal document between two or more customs administrations outlining the circumstances and conditions for recognizing and accepting the AEO programs of the signing parties.
BOC earlier said it would take part in meetings to develop an ASEAN AEO MRA to be completed by 2025.
Customs E-Commerce Program
In view of challenges brought by e-commerce, Garcia said BOC this year will implement a Customs E-Commerce Program to “identify and issue policies and establish systems that will enable the bureau to improve customs control for business to consumer, cross border e-commerce import or exports, without hampering trade or causing unnecessary restrictions.”
BOC will constitute a BOC e-commerce technical working group, and sign a memorandum of understanding with e-commerce platforms/companies.
Another continuing priority program is sustaining an integrity and quality management system. Garcia said BOC will sustain its program on good governance, professionalism, and integrity by developing a more comprehensive integrity development plan and maintaining its commitment to quality management.
BOC aims to attain a Performance Governance System institutionalized status, and continue and maintain its ISO 9001:2015 QMS Certification. The bureau will also create an integrity plan, risk map, and revise its code of conduct.
To enhance trade facilitation, the BOC said it will actively engage with international partners and ensure compliance with trade facilitation agreements through the WCO’s Mercator Program and other WCO trade facilitation programs.
The improvement of revenue collection is another priority to be achieved by tapping non-traditional sources such as auctions and other modes of cargo disposal.
BOC said it will establish a non-traditional sources revenue monitoring group and create a dashboard or system for collecting revenue from tentatively released goods.
It will likewise enhance its employee welfare program. Garcia said BOC will pursue programs that promote the health and safety of employees especially during this time of pandemic. Employees will be provided with rewards and incentives for their outstanding contributions to further motivate them to raise their productivity levels.
In line with this, BOC will establish a PRAISE Committee to ensure rewards for employees and propose guidelines on employee rewards and incentives pursuant to Republic Act 9335 or the Attrition Act of 2005.
Another priority is implementing organizational restructuring to update BOC’s existing rationalization plan and revising staffing pattern to further improve its operational efficiencies.
BOC will produce studies and projects on how to further organize its offices and units to produce a more professional and highly efficient workforce.
Lastly, the agency will enhance its performance management system by introducing automation, issuing revised polices and regulations, and reorienting BOC personnel on its Strategic Performance Management System.
Since 2019, BOC has been identifying 10 priority programs yearly geared toward accomplishing its organizational and operational targets for the year.
For its 10-point priority program for 2021, BOC said it completed 88.94% of its target activities, the highest completion rate since 2019. – Roumina Pablo