Home » Customs & Trade, Exclusives, Ports/Terminals » Enhancements for BOC’s 1-Assessment ready

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is set to launch this month fixes for bugs and updates for 1-Assessment.

1-Assessment is the web-based queue management app that provides bias-free assessment by randomly assigning appraisers and examiners to declared goods filed.

BOC Management Information System and Technology Group (MISTG) deputy commissioner Jeffrey Ian Dy, in a recent phone interview with PortCalls, said the updates include fixes for issues with passwords and allowing district collectors to view reports about their ports, among others.

The update is being implemented while the new leadership of BOC under commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero is assessing the system. 1-Assessment is now being adopted at the ports of Batangas, Clark, Limay, Subic, and Surigao, and the sub-ports of Bislig, Nasipit, Mariveles, Siain (Quezon), Puerto Princesa, and Bauan.

Formerly called enhanced goods declaration verification system, 1-Assessment is the second phase of the goods declaration verification system (GDVS). The GDVS was pilot-tested and implemented October 2017 under CMO 31-2017 at the Manila International Container Terminal and Port of Manila. The second version of the system was implemented on November 6.

A separate software from BOC’s electronic-to-mobile (e2m) system, 1-Assessment seeks to prevent corruption by institutionalizing the “Zero Contact Policy, and suppressing the “suki system” in cargo clearance through the random assignment of examiners and appraisers to a given goods declaration.

It also aims to enable importers and customs brokers to obtain real-time information on the status of their goods declaration, and seeks to define the liability of customs brokers and customs personnel involved in the cargo clearance process while strengthening their accountability.

Dy, in a presentation during the Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. (CCBI) national convention on November 9, noted that “automation in customs as a means in fighting corruption is very relevant” as it removes official discretion and the need for face-to-face contact.

He also said that since the second version was implemented, there have been zero backlogs even with higher volumes being processed.

Dy during the CCBI convention shared several “success stories” in detecting and acting on discrepancies and gross undervaluation in declarations. He said the system is also effective in “tracking the entire transaction” for audit purposes.

Dy acknowledged that the system entails cultural change, not only for stakeholders but for BOC employees as well.

Under Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 17-2018, 1-Assessment shall apply only to import consumption entries cleared under the formal entry process in all ports of entry.

However, exempt from 1-Assessment, even if cleared under the formal entry process, are the following: shipments under the Super Green Lane, articles withdrawn from customs bonded warehouses for local consumption, wastage under the bonded warehouse regime and jet operation losses, goods entered as temporary imports for subsequent re-exportation, and deferred payment of government.

Features and Functions

Under 1-Assessment, stakeholders no longer need to go to BOC to get the final version of the Enforcement Security Service (ESS) Motor Vehicle Monitoring and Compliance Office certification. The entry can just be routed to ESS, which will upload the document. There is also no need to submit the certification “because the origin of the document is BOC, therefore we can authenticate it for you.”

There is also no need to go to BOC for rulings of district collectors and Import Assessment Service certification as these can likewise be done online through 1-Assessment.

If a shipment gets an alert, 1-Assessment can provide x-ray images for transparency.

Under 1-Assessment, goods declaration will be randomly assigned to an available examiner within the port, with the same declaration assigned to an available appraiser outside the port for verification.

The system is also aimed at enforcing the accountability of customs brokers since the system can backtrack on all the declarations they made. Customs brokers can also check if someone else is using their name without permission in transacting with BOC.

1-Assessment aims to provide all stakeholders with actual updates on the status of their goods declaration online, including through mobile phones. Dy said this eliminates the need for stakeholders to transact face-to-face with BOC employees to check or verify the status of their shipments, minimizing the opportunity for collusion.

The system also allows stakeholders to track all transactional information (including time of transaction, comments, requests for additional information, etc.) with customs employees. Conversations they made with customs officers are also recorded in 1-Assessment.

Meantime, the system can provide the user its queue number and the average handling time.

1-Assessment assigns only one declaration per examiner and per appraiser, and processing must be completed before the examiner and the appraiser can be assigned another declaration again, which Dy said addresses the weakness of GDVS wherein transactions are assigned in bulk.

1-Assessment also shows how many declarations are in queue, and how much time it takes to process a declaration.

The system complies with the new Ease of Doing Business and Service Delivery Act, particularly Section 7 which institutionalizes a zero-contact policy to minimize corruption.

At the same time, the system measures key performance indicators based on the speed of transaction of each personnel. Dy noted that 1-Assessment can also see whether an examiner or an appraiser logs in late.

He said 1-Assessment is hosted in the cloud under the Amazon Web Services, over which MISTG has no control and can’t manipulate, and that the system has a better up time than e2m. – Roumina Pablo

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