BOC clarifies where exporters may seek pre-evaluation for CO issuance

To prevent delays, the pre-evaluation of provincial exporters and their export products for purposes of issuing the certificate of origin (CO) will still be conducted by the Export Division (ED) of the local collection districts, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) clarified.

Further, the local ED “shall just make a recommendation” to the chief of the Export Coordination Division (ECD) for approval or disapproval of the provincial applicants, according to Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group (AOCG) Memo No. 228-2020.

It is only the pre-evaluation of applicants in Metro Manila or nearby outports which will be addressed by the ECD, the memo further says.

“Only Metro Manila or nearby outports applicants shall be addressed to ECD for processing to avoid delay in the conduct of pre-evaluation of exporters and their products in the provinces,” it explains.

AOCG Memo 228-2020, dated November 5, was issued to clarify Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 28-2020, which was issued and became effective last October.

CMO 28-2020 returns to ECD the function of pre-evaluating exporters and their export products for purposes of issuing the CO, after CMO 02-2010 temporarily transferred this function to ED.

The return to ECD of its original function of pre-evaluation, according to CMO 28-2020, is “in order to effectively establish and maintain a comprehensive database of information related to pre-evaluation of exporters and their export products for CO issuance purposes.”

At the same time, CMO 28-2020 reverts to ECD the “exclusive authority” to issue COs, which also used to be part of its original function under CMO 02-2010.

But to facilitate trade, AOCG Memo 228-2020 states that the issuance of COs among provincial applicants “may still be processed by outports’ local Export Division (ED) concerned.”

However, in the case of Metro Manila applicants, “only the ECD can now issue certificates of origin in accordance with the permanent withdrawal from Export Division of the temporary delegation to pre evaluate and issue certificates of origin,” the memo declares.

A CO is a document declaring which country a commodity or good was manufactured, and is required by many treaty agreements for cross-border trade so as to determine whether certain goods are eligible for import, or whether goods are subject to duties.

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