Home » Breaking News, Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals » Customs brokers to stage work holiday in protest of June 30 accreditation deadline

ID-100161236The Customs Brokers Council of the Philippines (CBCP) will be staging a holiday starting June 26 to protest the looming deadline for securing the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) accreditation that brokers need to transact with the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

The CBCP, in an advisory sent to customs brokers and other organizations, called for the recall of several orders from the Department of Finance (DOF) and its attached agencies BIR and BOC that lay down the rules for securing accreditation, noting that they would lead to greater port congestion, reduced Customs collections and loss of jobs in the brokerage community.

These memorandums are DOF Department Order (DO) Nos. 12-2014, 18-2014, and 33-2014; BOC Customs Memorandum Order Nos. 04-2014 and 11-2014; and BIR Revenue Regulation No. 10-2014 and Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 22-2014.

On May 21, the DOF issued DO No. 33-2014 extending the application for the accreditation period for importers and brokers with valid and existing accreditation to June 30 — or the original expiration of their BOC accreditation, whichever comes earlier — from the original May 31 deadline.

However, brokers say the extension period is not enough for BIR to process accreditation of 12,000 importers and 3,000 practicing customs brokers in the Philippines.

Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. (CCBI) executive vice president Samson Gabisan told PortCalls that customs brokers are complying “but the time element is just too short.”

Gabisan said the CCBI’s position is for DOF to extend the application period to January 2015.

On March 12, the CCBI filed a civil case against the DOF, asking for a temporary restraining order to stop the implementation of the accreditation.

If the BOC insists on “cutting the CPRS (Client Profile Registration System) of brokers and importers, the result would be catastrophic, Gabisan said.

The BOC will delist importers and customs brokers from the CPRS if they do not meet the accreditation deadline, preventing them from processing their import shipments. No import transactions would translate to no jobs for customs brokers, less collection for the BOC, and a greater pileup of unattended containers at ports.

But Gabisan said the CCBI will likely not join the work holiday called by the CBCP, saying the protest “will not help, even a 7-days successive holiday (will not help).”

Atty. Agaton Teodoro Uvero, BOC Deputy Commissioner for Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group, said at last week’s PortCalls-organized Mindanao Shipping Conference that as of June 17, around 600 applications — out of the total 15,000 importers and brokers — have been processed by the BIR Accounts Receivables Monitoring Division.

The CBCP claimed the DOF, BIR and BOC regulations also “restrain them from practicing the profession” and are “anti-trade and anti-labor”.

It said that under the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and Republic Act 9280, or the Customs Brokers Act of 2004, only three things are required of customs brokers to practice their profession: the Professional Regulatory Board Certificate of Registration and identification card issued to a Board passer; payment of professional tax; and membership to an accredited professional organization.

The regulations also effectively transferred some of the BOC powers, including getting rid of fly-by-night importers and brokers, to the BIR, the group said.

The CBCP is asking other customs brokers and organizations to wear black arm bands as a sign of protest.

CBCP includes the Professional Customs Brokers Association of the Philippines, Inc, the National Confederation of Customs Broker of the Philippines and the Aduana Business Club. – Roumina Pablo

Image courtesy of lamnee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

One Response to “Customs brokers to stage work holiday in protest of June 30 accreditation deadline”

  1. This government sucks.
    Instead of making life easier for Filipinos, it is making life more difficult.
    This administration is really very, very oppressive.
    They require you to submit or comply with a deadline, but the BIR can not even comply with their 15 days processing time for the ICC.

    Reply

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