THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) is finalizing its link with four government agencies under the National Single Window (NSW). This after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo released P500 million to implement the system.
The departments of agriculture, health, trade and industry, and the Bureau of Internal Revenue were given priority over others because they issue the bulk of the country’s import permits, according to Customs deputy commissioner Alexander Arevalo.
Before the current administration steps down from office, 36 other agencies will join the four under the NSW.
The NSW will link all government agencies to customs offices. By electronically linking the permit and clearance system with all concerned agencies, traders will see real value in only needing to submit their data in one form electronically, rather than approaching a number of agencies.
The implementation schedule is line with the deadline set by the Philippines and the rest of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member nations for the adoption of each country’s NSW, a precursor to the Asean Single Window for implementation by 2012.
“All applicants of imports will do a one-time registration to the NSW upon registration of their respective agency into the system. After that they should be able to file their import permit via the internet,” Arevalo, the point person for the BOC computerization program, explained.
Importers registered under the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) will have to wait a few months before being interconnected to the system. PEZA said it needed time to prepare its own system, Arevalo said.
The Philippine NSW will be used as a model by other Asean members that have yet to craft their own.