Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals » PH Customs rules out on registration of non-regular importers

Guidelines on the registration of a non-regular importer (NRI), formerly known as a once-a-year importer, to the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) Client Profile Registration System (CPRS) have been released.

Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 46-2019, which takes effect on September 9, provides rules for the creation of a Compliance Monitoring Database (CMD) for NRIs with the aim of preventing importers from circumventing customs laws and regulations by using the once-a-year importation scheme.

Considered as an NRI is any person, whether natural or juridical, who has never been accredited as an importer with BOC under existing laws, rules, and regulations, or a once-a-year importer who had only one importation within 365 days prior to application for registration as an NRI.

Also considered an NRI are returning residents; foreigners married to a Filipino citizen; Filipino diplomats; and other individuals granted privileges under special laws or as provided under Section 800 (Conditionally Tax and/or Duty-Exempt Importation) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), in relation to their importation of motor vehicles, motorcycles, motor scooters, watercraft and aircraft.

NRIs eligible for exemption may apply for tax exemption with the Department of Finance.

NRIs with subsequent importations within 365 days from registration will be treated as regular importers and required to be accredited as such with BOC’s Account Management Office (AMO).

Not covered by CMO 46-2019 are importations for personal or family use of members and attaches of foreign embassies, consulates, legations, agencies of other foreign governments and international organizations with diplomatic status and recognized by the Philippine government; and importations for official use.

Also excluded are importers with shipments or items cleared through parcel port or informal entry process; importations by the Philippine government, its agencies and instrumentalities; importations by registered business enterprises/locators of Free Zones; coffins or urns containing human remains, bones or ashes, used personal and household effects (not merchandise) of the deceased person; de minimis importations; and balikbayan (personal effects) boxes sent to families or relatives by Qualified Filipinos while abroad.

Importation of aircraft parts of Aircraft on Ground, and airport terminal release scheme such as plants and byproducts, fruits and byproducts, fishes and byproducts, foodstuff, live animals, and diplomatic mails are also excluded from CMO 46-2019.

For NRIs whose shipments will enter ports within Metro Manila, the application for NRI must be filed with the AMO with complete requirements under CMO 46-2019. For shipments entering outports, the NRI must submit the application together with the supporting documents to the district collector of the port of entry, who will within 24 hours transmit the application to AMO for processing and record the transmittal in BOC’s Document Tracking System.

If the applicant NRI does not receive an email notification from BOC after submitting the complete documentary requirements, the application’s status can be followed up through BOC’s Customs Care Portal System available online.

The processing fee has to be paid prior to submission of application to BOC’s Collection Division if the shipments are entering through Manila ports, and to the Collection Division of the concerned port for shipments entering outports.

The AMO will immediately activate the NRI’s CPRS Profile upon receiving the approved application.

Disapproved applications for CPRS registration based on inadvertent or clerical errors may be corrected by reapplication and submission of documentary requirements.

Shipments of registered NRIs are to undergo 100% physical examination. Any findings of discrepancy or violation of the CMTA will be reported to the AMO.

The NRI will submit his/her Certificate of Registration to any authorized agent bank (AAB) to enroll his/her bank account, existing or new, from where his/her customs duties and taxes will be debited.

The bank reference number must be indicated in the NRI’s once-a-year importation declaration. A list of AABs is available on BOC’s website. – Roumina Pablo

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