Customs brokers exempt from PPA accreditation don’t need a PTO

  • There’s no need for licensed customs brokers to secure a permit to operate at the Philippine Ports Authority if they already have an accreditation
  • PPA issued Memorandum Order No. 02-2023 dated January 26 clarifying that licensed customs brokers exempt from obtaining accreditation are also exempt from securing a PTO
  • Their Certificate of Exemption, which is valid for one year, is proof of exemption from PTO

Licensed customs brokers exempt from securing accreditation are also exempt from the permit to operate (PTO) requirement, according to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA).

The clarification is contained in Memorandum Order No. 02-2023 dated January 26.

Philippine Ports Authority Memorandum Order 02-2023

A broker’s Certificate of Exemption–valid for one year–will serve as proof of exemption from securing the PTO, the memo added.

The clarification was issued to “ensure the effective and proper implementation of PPA Administrative Order No. 07-2019”, according to MO 02-2023.

PPA AO 07-2019 issued in September 2019 exempts licensed customs brokers from PPA AO 06-2019, which requires all port service providers to secure accreditation from the ports authority before they are awarded port services contracts or issued PTOs.

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MO 02-2023 was issued after some customs brokers asked PPA general manager Jay Daniel Santiago at a forum held by the Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc. (CCBI) on January 24 whether they are exempt from securing PTO from PPA. Santiago replied they have in fact been exempt from the requirement since the issuance of AO 07-2019.

CCBI president Adones Carmona, in a text message to PortCalls, said the group is grateful to PPA for finally clarifying the order that has caused confusion to member customs brokers.

Under AO 07-2019, licensed customs brokers should file a letter of request for exemption with the port management office (PMO) that has jurisdiction over the port or ports where they intend to provide brokerage services. The Certificate of Exemption is valid for one year.

The exemption is also subject to several conditions, including that the customs broker should not be engaged in port and port ancillary services which require accreditation from PPA.

The customs brokers should not also apply for a Permit to Occupy for purposes of leasing an office within the port.

Further, the customs broker is not exempt from port security/gate procedures and must secure pedestrian/vehicle pass.

Carmona earlier said customs brokers are not considered as port service providers and, therefore, not covered by AO 06-2019. – Roumina Pablo

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