MEMBERS of the Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association of the Philippines (PISFA) continue to suffer from additional expense and delays in cargo movement due to the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) electronic to mobile (e2m) project / import assessment system (IAS).
“The new system has really slowed down our operations and the cost impact of the delays is really huge on our part,” PISFA president Nelson Mendoza told PortCalls.
“In correcting discrepancies alone, such as typographical errors, we are paying at least P12,000…on top of (the) legal issues (possibly arising from the errors),” Mendoza said.
He noted several PISFA members are experiencing problems particularly with shipments arriving late at night, as papers can only be processed the next working day.
“The six-hour rule in filing the manifest is still one of our major dilemmas since the carriers are filing their manifest at the (last possible) hour,” Mendoza explained, noting this is especially problematic if the vessel is scheduled to arrive in the dead of night.
As incredulous as it sounds, there have been actual reports of late submissions among forwarders who fell asleep while waiting for carriers’ manifests.
Under e2m, forwarders must submit their manifest six hours before vessel arrival, carriers 12 hours before.
Forwarders can only file their manifests after the carriers have done so.
PISFA is now recommending the adoption of a queuing system that will allow forwarders to submit their manifests ahead of carriers’. The manifests would then be lodged immediately after submission by the shipping lines.
PISFA is also recommending a quick correction response to discrepancies; the current process, it said, is tedious and costly.
Mendoza noted while PISFA members consider problems with e2m still minor, these could blow out of proportion if not addressed by the BOC soonest.
Since November 16, 2009, the BOC has enforced the solo e2m system, scrapping a parallel run with the Automated Customs Operating System at the Manila International Container Port and at the Port of Manila in compliance with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s order.
The implementation of IAS covers lodgment through the value-added service providers; the Client Profile Registration System; Electronic Manifest System; clearance of Formal Entry System (consumption and warehousing); use of Payment Application Secure System version 5; application of non-cash payments, consisting of Tax Exemption Certificates, Import Entry Declaration, Tax Debit Memos, Import Entry Declaration/Advanced Payment and Deferred Payment of Government Accounts through the e2m Payment System; On-Line Release System; and License and Clearance System involving government agencies that are ready to upload their licenses, clearances and other authorizations to the e2m Customs.