Sony PH is 4th company to earn Level 1 AEO accreditation

Sony Philippines' store at SM Megamall. Photo from Sony Philippines' Facebook page.
  • Sony Philippines is the fourth company to earn Level 1 accreditation under the Authorized Economic Operator Program
  • The accreditation was granted on February 13, according to Bureau of Customs Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group Memo No. 53-2024

Sony Philippines, Inc. (SPI) is the fourth company to earn Level 1 accreditation under the Bureau of Customs’ (BOC) Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program.

The accreditation was granted on February 13, according to BOC Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group (AOCG) Memo No. 53-2024.

AOCG deputy commissioner Atty. Vener Baquiran and Enforcement Group deputy commissioner Teddy Sandy Raval directed BOC offices to afford SPI’s import entries and other related customs transactions the benefits of being accredited under Level 1 of the AEO program.

Other accredited companies are Toyota Motors Philippines Corp. and Panasonic Manufacturing Corp.—both of which recently secured Level 2 accreditation—and Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. still at Level 1.

The BOC in December 2019 launched its AEO Program in compliance with the country’s commitment to the World Customs Organization’s SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade.

The AEO Program represents a customs-to-business partnership that seeks to enhance international supply chain security and facilitate movement of legitimate goods. Implementation of the AEO program in the Philippines became possible in 2016 with the passage of Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

Once granted, accreditation under the AEO Program will last until suspended, revoked, or cancelled through voluntary withdrawal from the program.

As an AEO Level 1 member, SPI will be exempted from renewal of accreditation under any customs accreditation system. In lieu of the annual renewal of accreditation, AEO members are only required to periodically update its information and corresponding documentary requirements pursuant to membership responsibilities of an AEO under Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 09-2020.

AEO members with a satisfactory system for managing their trade documents may be allowed by BOC to use their trade documents to self-assess their duty and tax liability, where appropriate, to ensure compliance with other customs requirements. Information declared by an AEO member in its goods declaration based on its self-assessment will be accepted by BOC.

A dedicated help desk will also be provided to assist SPI on any customs-related concerns. AEO members will also be accorded recognition by BOC as trusted trade partners.

The AEO Office may motu proprio consider upgrading a Level 1 member to Level 2 or 3, depending on the AEO’s degree of compliance with the requirements of accreditation. For Level 2 members, benefits include those for Level 1 plus a dedicated processing lane, advance clearance process, periodic lodgment, one-time exemption certificate, and expedited customs clearance for exports.

A Level 3 member will have extended additional benefits that the customs commissioner, in consultation with the AEO Office, will identify.

AEO members are, however, still subject to post-clearance audits to ensure compliance.

Currently, BOC’s AEO Program covers importers and exporters. Other stakeholders will also be eligible to apply for AEO accreditation. BOC will issue a separate order to implement this.

Baquiran earlier said they are hopeful more companies will join the program this year as he continues to convince members of BOC’s Super Green Lane facility to transfer to the AEO Program. – Roumina Pablo