THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) will soon tap into the Philippine Ports Authority’s (PPA) ship arrival schedule database to boost its capability to secure advance information on all Philippine-bound vessels. The agreement will lend additional support to the 12-hour advance inward foreign manifest requirement of the bureau.
“From there, we will be able to evaluate and process low-risk shipments even before the vessel and cargo actually arrive at our ports,” Customs deputy commissioner Alexander Arevalo said in an interview at the sidelines of a briefing organized last week by BOC value-added service provider (VASP) InterCommerce Network Service and Citibank.
“Hopefully, by next month we will be able to fully implement this along with the 12-hour advance IFM guidelines and boost our chances of attaining the 30-minute cargo clearance system this year,” he said.
The PPA will give BOC the name, date, time and the ports of call of all incoming vessels ahead of the 12-hour manifest requirement.
Under Customs Administrative Order 1-2007, the BOC requires shipping lines, non-vessel operating common carriers, cargo consolidators, co-loaders and breakbulk agents to provide accurate information on vessels and cargoes arriving at any port 12 hours prior through electronic transfer coursed through its accredited VASPs.
The BOC is now pilot testing the advance manifest system of international shipping lines through two other VASPs — E-Konek Pilipinas and Cargo Data Exchange Center. Full implementation is expected by March.