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New BOC order compiles provisions on penalties under CMTA

  • Customs Memorandum Order 03-2021 contains a compendium of penalties, liabilities or obligations under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act
  • Compendium comes in matrix format and has two parts: specific provisions on penalty of the CMTA and implementing customs administrative orders issued
  • CMO 03-2021 takes effect on January 27

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has released a compendium of penalties, liabilities or obligations under the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

Embodied in Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 03-2021, the Compendium, consolidates provisions of the CMTA, or Republic Act (RA) No. 10863, and its implementing Customs Administrative Orders (CAO) specifically dealing with the imposition of penalties and liabilities, including effects of the failure by the importer, exporter, third parties, and other stakeholders to comply with obligations provided by the laws and their implementing rules and regulations.

CMO 03-2021, which takes effect on January 27, seeks to establish a regime of transparency with the different penalties, liabilities, and obligations imposed by BOC, as well as to ensure “informed and diligent compliance with customs practices and procedures by stakeholders.”

The Compendium complies with BOC’s obligation to the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

It is presented in a matrix format and divided into two parts: the first refers to the specific provisions on penalty under the CMTA while the second part dwells on the implementing CAOs issued by BOC.

Under the first part, the matrix is categorized as follows:

  • Description of the penalty or specific acts, omissions, or customs clearance process where a penalty, liability or obligation is imposed
  • Basis or the specific section number under the CMTA
  • Penalty or the specific citation of the law
  • Related CAOs to which the said legal provision is being applied
  • Responsible office

The second part’s matrix is categorized as follows:

  • CAO number or the specific reference to the implementing CAO number presented in accordance with its date of issuance
  • Title or the subject matter of the CAO
  • Penalty or the specific section of the CAO dealing with penalty or imposition of liability for violation of the regulation
  • CMTA section or specific provision which is used as legal basis for the issuance or promulgation of the CAO
  • Responsible office

CMO 03-2021 states that the Compendium neither supplements nor supplants the penalty provisions of the CMTA and its IRR.

“Thus, after determining the applicable penalty, reading the text of the actual provision in the CMTA or the particular CAO is highly encouraged to ascertain the context of the penalty being imposed,” CMO 03-2021 states.

Consistent with Section 1802 of the CMTA, the penalties, liabilities or obligations imposed pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 1464, otherwise known as the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, as amended, that are not inconsistent with the CMTA provisions will remain valid unless repealed or amended. – Roumina Pablo


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