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BOC signs MOA with Customs brokers to avoid delays.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc. (CCBI) to strengthen trade facilitation and minimize delays at the ports.

This came about after consultations with port operators and the CCBI where issues on transaction delays, fraudulent valuation and enhanced trade facilitation, among others, were raised.

'The absence of Customs brokers or importers often results in the delay of examination of alerted shipments,' Customs Commissioner Isidro S. Lapena said.

The MOA provides that a member of the CCBI will stand as representative of the importer, owner or its Customs broker or authorized representative during the conduct of the physical examination of goods under exceptional circumstances, such as when the importer is absent or cannot be located.

The pact provides that CCBI experts or personnel will only act as witnesses in the conduct of physical examinations as representatives of the importer, owner or its Customs brokers.

'Their function shall be limited to making record or statement as to the contents of the shipment, which they observe,' he added.

The Customs chief said alert orders are issued to verify the derogatory reports received by the BOC. Alerted shipments with no irregularities will be immediately released, while those with verified violations will be held accountable and will be penalized under the law.

'This move will compel importers to comply with what is proper and declare the correct valuation so the government will collect its rightful revenue,' he said.

It was earlier reported that, in 2010, registered Chinese exports to the Philippines was at $11.56 billion, but Philippine imports from China as reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) was only at $4.628 billion, resulting in a trade discrepancy of 60 percent, or $6.936 billion.

For the first seven months of 2017, Chinese exports to the Philippines hit $17.77 billion, while the PSA reported imports from China at $9.24 billion, a discrepancy of 48 percent, or $8.53 billion.

The Customs chief earlier reported that the wide discrepancy between China's recorded exports and imports to the Philippines may be attributed to the gross misdeclaration or undervaluation of goods in terms of either volume or weight; and the possible use of 'consignees for hire,' which leads to goods released to 'hidden' traders and not to the consignees on record.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Mar 21, 2018
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