Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals » Dedicated clearing desk formed to improve processing of alert orders

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has created a clearing office to monitor and fast-track the processing of alert orders.

The Alert Order Clearing House Desk (AOCHD), which is under the IG deputy commissioner, was created under Customs Special Order No. 11-2019 pursuant to Section 1111 (Alert Orders) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

Section 1111 states that BOC “shall create a central clearing house for alert orders and shall submit reports quarterly on the status thereof.”

“The Alert order clearing house is necessary to ensure that alert orders are properly implemented in accordance with law,” Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said in a statement.

AOCHD will also ease and address delays in the processing of alert orders through active monitoring of alerted shipments, he added.

Since the creation of AOCHD, Guerrero noted that BOC has been “able to improve our efficiency in processing alerted shipments such that the number of alerted shipments being processed is now down to 94 from over 300 before we established the clearing house.”

In a text message to PortCalls, Guerrero explained that this had been possible because AOCHD “calls attention to alerted shipments that are experiencing delays in processing so we expedite the process.” The clearing house also checks alert orders to make sure these abide by the prescribed conditions that warrant their issuance, Guerrero noted.

He added that with the AOCHD, there is “proper implementation of alert system because there is now an office/desk that directly monitors and supervises the issuance and lifting of alert orders.”

He clarified, however, that AOCHD does not issue alert orders as only the customs commissioners and district collectors are authorized to do so.

Under Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 06-2019, dated February 11 and signed by Guerrero on February 12, all alert orders shall be validated, dated, assigned a unique reference number in series, and monitored by the AOCHD. All alert orders for issuance shall be coursed through the AOCHD.

Guerrero said the AOCHD allocates/assigns a set or batch of alert reference numbers unique to the alert authorities. He explained that alert authorities do not have to wait for the clearing house to issue them reference numbers when they need them. The clearing house uses these numbers to monitor all alert orders issued.

Asked if AOCHD has enough personnel to ensure there will be no delays in the process, Guerrero replied: “It does not need many personnel considering that it only records and monitors alert orders issued by alert authorities to make sure they are implemented in accordance with the CMTA, including making sure there is no delay in the processing of alerted shipments.”

He said BOC is now installing a document management system to help the customs bureau in tracking its records, files, and documents, including alert orders. – Roumina Pablo

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