THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) is issuing more stringent guidelines for importers of second-hand merchandise. The move is designed to curb the practice of declaring shipments as off quality to side step the correct payment of duties and taxes.
“If they (importers) declare that their items are not of prime quality, they must prove it and produce supporting documents to back up their claim,” Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales said.
Based on Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 21-2008, all items classified as stocklots, sideruns, cull rolls, seconds, mill lots, off grade, B-grade, C-grade, used, second hand, off specs, substandard, off quality, overruns, sweepings, overflow, recycled, waste waste, reconditioned, refurbished, refashioned, surplus, scrap, scrap metals, metal waste, cut up, bath roll, odd lengths, and unbranded will be subjected to 100% inspection in the presence of technical experts.
Importers should also have a duly notarized manufacturer’s or supplier’s certificate of quality as to the actual condition of the articles, including the standard for the product being imported, and its deviation from such standards, hich reduced its quality.
The manufacturer’s certificate must be accompanied by the authentication of the commercial attaché or consulate of the country of origin to ensure the genuineness of the suppliers’ certificate.
Morales said the latter document is difficult to secure as most commercial attachés will not affix their name on dubious shipments.
He added the articles will be subject to laboratory analysis by the Philippine Customs Laboratory and, in the absence of such a facility, tested by the Department of Science and Technology to determine if they should be considered prime commodity or off-quality.
Based on the CMO’s operational provisions, an allowable discount of not exceeding 30% per standard trade practice of the industry based on the Customs value of brand new or prime quality articles may be allowed for shipments found by the ports as substandard or off quality.
Principal appraisers and examiners will check and conduct return of findings on the actual condition of the shipment and verify the accuracy of the manufacturer’s or suppliers’ certificate of quality submitted by the importer. The CMO said failure to perform such duties will be ground for disciplinary action pursuant to the Civil Service Rules and Regulations.