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Customs appeal processes consolidated into one manual

  • Administrative and judicial appeal processes under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and the law’s implementing rules and regulations to be contained in one manual
  • Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 04-2021, effective last January 22, establishes the Manual of Appeal Procedures

Stakeholders may now refer to a singular document to look up the administrative and judicial appeal processes under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and the law’s implementing rules and regulations, according to the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 04-2021, effective last January 22, established an integrated “Manual of Appeal Procedures” containing the different appeals processes.

The order aims to ensure that existing international standards and customs practices are complied with when providing administrative and judicial remedies to any customs issue.

CMO 04-2021 includes the administrative and/or judicial appeal or remedy that may be availed of depending on the issue involved, and the corresponding prescribed period in cases where the decision of the port, office, or commissioner is adverse to the claimant or stakeholder.

These issues include:

  • compulsory acquisition
  • refund
  • abandonment
  • valuation, rules of origin, and other customs issues except fixing of fines in seizure cases
  • classification ruling
  • advance ruling; seizure and forfeiture; deficiency assessment issued by the Post Clearance Audit Group
  • disapproval of application for accreditation of customs broker
  • application as Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) member
  • other decisions relating to AEO
  • general appeal clause

CMO 04-2021 comes with Annex A, a supplement to the manual presented in a matrix for easier search of topic or issue; title; basis of appeal under the CMTA and its IRR; the provisions; and a quick summary of the period indicated.

CMO 04-2021 notes the manual “does not supplement [or] supplant the appeal provisions under the CMTA and its implementing rules and regulations.”

It encouraged stakeholders to, after determining the applicable mode of appeal, read the text of the actual provision in the CMTA or the particular Customs Administrative Order (CAO) “to ascertain the context of the penalty being imposed.”

READ: New BOC order compiles provisions on penalties under CMTA

BOC earlier also issued CMO 03-2021, which provides a compendium of penalties, liabilities or obligations under the CMTA and its IRR to promote transparency and compliance. – Roumina Pablo

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