BOC revokes OCOM clearance proviso for specific beverage imports

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ID-10021031The memorandum requiring some importers to obtain clearance from the Office of the Commissioner (OCOM) in order to secure the release of certain imported beverages, spirits, and juices has been withdrawn by the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina, in memorandum 06-o14 dated June 20 and signed June 21, revoked the memorandum dated June 6 that required all importations covered by the Harmonized System (HS) Codes 20.09, 22.01, 22.02, 22.03, 22.04, 22.05, 22.06, 22.07, and 22.08, including riders, to first get clearance from OCOM to secure their release.

Lina said that effective June 23, the June 6 memorandum is revoked, and the process for clearing these commodities that was in effect prior to the order will be followed. No reason for the revocation was supplied.

HS Code 20.09 covers fruit juices including grape must as well as vegetable juices, unfermented, not containing added spirit, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter.

HS Codes 22.01 to 22.08 include waters; beer made from malt; wine of fresh grapes, including fortified wines; vermouth and other wine of fresh grapes flavored with plants or aromatic substances; other fermented beverages, mixtures of fermented beverages and mixtures of fermented beverages and non-alcoholic beverages; undenatured ethyl alcohol of an alcoholic strength of 80% volume or higher; ethyl alcohol and other spirits, denatured, of any strength; and undenatured ethyl alcohol of an alcoholic strength of less than 80% volume, spirits, liqueurs, and other spirituous beverages.

All tax-exempt shipments, as well Philippine Economic Zone Authority and Super Green Lane shipments, were exempted from having to secure OCOM clearance.

BOC had earlier also required OCOM clearance for several commodities such as meat in a move meant to ensure compliance with customs laws and curb smuggling. The agency had also lifted the requirement for OCOM clearance on meat products after some time. – Roumina Pablo

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