The Philippine Department of Finance (DOF) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) have issued a draft order outlining guidelines for marking imported goods of foreign origin or their containers.
The draft customs administrative order (CAO) implements Section 710 and other relevant provisions of Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA). Stakeholders can submit their position papers on the draft until June 1, the same day of the public hearing on the proposed order.
Covered are all goods of foreign origin, or their containers, imported into the Philippines, unless otherwise exempted by other laws, rules, and regulations.
“All goods of foreign origin imported into the Philippines or their containers, shall be conspicuously marked in any official language of the Philippines as legibly, indelibly and permanently as the nature of the goods or container will permit and in such manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the Philippines the name of the country of origin of the goods,” the draft order states.
The character of words and phrases or abbreviation to be used will be based on the United Nations Terminology Database (UNTERM), which will be acceptable as indicating the country of origin.
All goods of foreign origin imported into the Philippines should be marked by any reasonable method of marking, whether by printing, stenciling, stamping, branding, or labeling.
When goods cannot be marked with any of these methods, any method of legible and conspicuous marking which will remain on the article until it reaches the final buyer is acceptable, the draft notes.
If any goods of foreign origin or their containers are not marked during importation, a marking duty of 5% of the dutiable value will be levied and collected for such goods, with the duty deemed to have accrued at the time of importation.
No imported goods of foreign origin held in customs custody for inspection, examination, or assessment will be released until such goods or their containers are marked as required and the duty due has been deposited.
Failure or refusal by the owner or importer to mark the goods within 30 days of due notice constitutes abandonment of these goods, which will be disposed of according to the provisions of the CMTA.
Exempt from the marking requirements are goods that can’t be marked; goods that can’t be marked prior to shipment to the Philippines without injury; goods that cannot be marked prior to shipment to the Philippines except at a prohibitive cost; goods whose marking on their containers will reasonably indicate their origin; and goods that are crude substances.
Also exempt are goods imported for use by the importer and not intended for sale; goods produced more than 20 years prior to their importation into the Philippines; goods that cannot be marked after importation except at a prohibitive expense; and goods whose failure to be marked before importation was not due to the importer, producer, seller, or shipper purposely trying to avoid compliance with this section.
Whenever goods are exempt from marking requirements, the draft order says that “the immediate container, if any, of such goods, or such other container or containers of such goods, shall be marked in such manner as to indicate to an ultimate purchaser in the Philippines the name of the country of origin of such goods in any official language of the Philippines.”
Once approved, the draft order will amend all previous issuances, including CAO No. 228 (Rules and Regulations Relative to Marking of the Country of Origin on Imported Articles and Containers) and Customs Memorandum Order No. 121-88 (Marking of Imported Articles and Containers). – Roumina Pablo