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The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has laid down rules on outsourcing of its non-sovereign functions, such as value-added and fuel marking services, to private entities.

Customs Administrative Order (CAO) No. 10-2019 comes under a new policy in the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), specifically Section 1513, which allows BOC to outsource any of its non-sovereign and ancillary functions to a qualified and competent private entity in accordance with government rules on service procurement.

CAO 10-2019 takes effect 30 days after August 29.

Non-sovereign functions are ancillary functions that provide necessary support to BOC’s sovereign functions. These non-sovereign functions include value-added services, fuel marking services, and all non-sovereign/ancillary services as may be determined by the bureau.

Exempt from the coverage of CAO 10-2019 are janitorial, clerical, messengerial, security, utility, maintenance, and mobility services.

Outsourcing of non-sovereign or ancillary functions is subject to conditions of Republic Act (RA) No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Act and of RA 8182 or the Official Development Assistance Act of 1996 for non-sovereign functions that involve direct financial or material assistance to BOC.

All private entities engaged by BOC under CAO 10-2019 should strictly comply with all the provisions of RA 10173, or the Data Privacy Act of 2012.

All outsourcing will also be approved by the finance secretary upon the recommendation of the Customs commissioner.

All outsourcing agreements of BOC already existing prior to the effectivity of CAO 10-2019 will remain valid. – Roumina Pablo

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