Electronic materials will not be covered yet when the Bureau of Customs (BOC) initially implements this month its electronic tracking system for containers leaving Manila and Batangas ports and bound for Laguna Technopark, Inc. (LTI) and Cavite Economic Zone (CEZ).
BOC had earlier announced all containers from Manila and Batangas bound for LTI would be included in the Electronic Tracking of Containerized Cargo (E-TRACC) System starting September 14, while all containers bound for CEZ will be included from September 28.
But Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group (AOCG) deputy commissioner Atty. Edward James Dy Buco in a memorandum dated September 11 said another order on including shipments of electronic materials in the E-TRACC will be issued separately.
The new memorandum will basically defer E-TRACC implementation of import containers of electronic materials and will amend AOCG Memo No. 152-2020 that BOC issued earlier issued.
Under AOCG Memo No. 152-2020, all containers discharged from the Port of Manila, Manila International Container Port (MICP), and Port of Batangas covered by the transit single administrative document (SAD) and bound for LTI and CEZ must be sealed with the electronic customs seal (ECS) under the E-TRACC System.
Imports for other Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) economic zones will be covered by another AOCG memorandum.
E-TRACC, which was launched last May, is a web-based tracking system for the inland movement of containerized cargoes during transit and transfer to other customs territories and facilities. It allows BOC to track, monitor, and audit the location and condition of cargoes, as well as obtain real-time alarms on diversion and tampering of cargoes.
E-TRACC was established under Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 04-2020 issued last February.
Dy Buco earlier said they have been coordinating with PEZA on the phased implementation of E-TRACC for PEZA shipments.
Stakeholders at LTI and CEZ should register under the system from September 1 to September 13 prior to implementation so as not to delay the processing of customs clearance, BOC said. The customs officer will not approve any customs clearance without the required E-TRACC booking as prescribed under CMO 04-2020.
Registration to the E-TRACC system can be made at www.ecms.ph. Stakeholders may also contact the service provider, Ascent Solutions Philippines, Inc.
Under the memo, the collection districts at Port of Manila, MICP, and Batangas should ensure all containers processed for transport to PEZA adhere to the guidelines of CMO 04-2020.
When booking on the E-TRACC website, the stakeholder should choose the economic zone where the locator is situated.
Full-container-load shipments bound for PEZA locators should be sealed with the ECS, a GPS-enabled sealing device or lock that physically secures a cargo and provides real-time information on its location. The ECS will be armed or fixed by the service provider personnel.
Once the Start Trip Authorization is approved by the control tower, the vehicle carrying the cargo can leave the vicinity and head for its destination.
When the vehicle and container arrive at the destination, BOC’s authorized personnel should first compare the container’s visual evidence of sealing of ECS against the actual container that arrived, and look for discrepancy or signs of tampering.
The BOC authorized personnel should also check if the container seal number and the electronic customs seal number are the same as indicated in the trip details, and inform the control tower for approval to end the trip.
Once ending of the trip is authorized, authorized BOC personnel should disarm the container by removing the ECS and tag the cargo as received.
Customs cargo clearance must be fully completed before any shipment is sealed with an ECS.
- Import containers bound for container yard/container freight station or other customs facilities and warehouses; transit of cargo bound for Free Zones, inland customs office, depots, or terminals; transit to CBWs.
- Export containers from Free zones, inland customs office, depots or terminals, and CBWs to port of loading.
- Transfer of shipments subject to further verification and/or monitoring.
For exports, Dy Buco earlier clarified the system covers not just PEZA zones, but all other Free zones under the jurisdiction of Freeport authorities.
For imports, the system covers all containers for which duties and taxes have not yet been paid. However, certain products for consumption whose duties and taxes have been paid prior to release are also covered, such as reefer cargoes.
Booking for the E-TRACC trip can be made one day earlier or up to one hour before departure of the container.
E-TRACC requires payment of P500 within a 10-kilometer (km) radius from port of discharge and P700 beyond the 10-km radius from port of discharge. The charge covers both arming and disarming of the ECS. – Roumina Pablo