Shipments under PH Co-Loading Act exempt from mandatory filing of consumption entry

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id-100410153The Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) has exempted from mandatory filing of consumption entry articles for transit covered by Republic Act (RA) No. 10668, or the Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act.

Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 29-2016 amended Section 1 of CMO 28-2015, which orders compulsory filing of consumption entry for sea shipments at the port of discharge where the port of discharge is not the final port of destination.

The CMO, signed by Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon and dated November 17, took effect immediately.

Other articles previously exempt from CMO 28-2015 are shipments imported by accredited locators of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority and Free ports, those intended for use by accredited customs bonded warehouses, and those imported for immediate exportation.

CMO 29-2016 also amended Section 2 of CMO 28-2015, which now states that “all articles imported by sea under the conditions provided in Section 1, except those items enumerated above, shall be immediately covered by the necessary import entry for immediate consumption, whether formal or informal.”

It further stated that the entry should be filed at the assessment office at the port of first discharge upon importation into Philippine territory; “otherwise, transit shall not be allowed and the filing of the entry at the port of final destination shall be prohibited.”

Any violation of the customs order will be considered an incidence of simple neglect of duty as provided in Title IV, Section 2 of CMO 25-2010, punishable by dismissal on second offense.

Prior to CMO 28-2015, the filing of entry of imported articles intended for consumption at the first port of discharge was not needed, which BOC may have identified as a “potential loophole that needs to be addressed immediately,” according to Leo Morada, chief executive officer of BOC-accredited value-added service provider Cargo Data Exchange Center and PortCalls IT columnist. He noted that the issuance of a mandatory filing rule may mean an attempt at “more effective BOC control” over such articles.

Former Customs deputy commissioner Atty. Agaton Teodoro Uvero also said that under CMO 28-2015, BOC is adopting “strict application of the law… to prevent another [repeat of the] case of 2,000 missing containers.” Uvero was referring to a 2011 incident when nearly 2,000 containers disappeared while being shipped from the Port of Manila to the Port of Batangas, costing then customs commissioner Angelito Alvarez his job. – Roumina Pablo

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