BOC policy on trucker registration, shorter goods lodgement declaration period in force by June 1

Starting June 1, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will implement the reduced period for lodging goods declaration and new guidelines on registration of truckers, policies earlier suspended owing to stakeholders’ concerns.

In a statement, BOC said the implementation was “agreed upon by the officials of BOC and the stakeholders” following a public consultation conducted on May 16. Organizations that attended the public consultation include the Philippine Ports Authority, Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc., Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines, Port Users Confederation of the Philippines, International Container Terminal Services, Inc. and Asian Terminals Inc.

Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 05-2019, signed on February 4, provides the rules and regulations on registration of truckers, pursuant to Section 1226 (Supervision and Regulation of Third Parties) of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

CMO 18-2019, dated April 26 and signed on April 29, shortens the period for lodging the goods declaration to seven days from the date of discharge of the last package from the vessel of aircraft, from the previous 15 days.

Implementing CMO 05-2019 was put on hold when stakeholders raised concerns, particularly over the lack of public consultation before the new order was to be issued, while CMO 18-2019 was suspended “pending policy refinements” and updating of the bureau’s electronic-to-mobile system.

During the public consultation, BOC said Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero convened the heads and representatives of various stakeholders’ associations, as well as officials of BOC, to explain that the purpose of the CMOs is to facilitate trade and enhance revenue generation.

The customs bureau said stakeholders were given an opportunity to present their inputs on the guidelines for consideration by BOC.

“BOC will make the necessary remedies to the orders that are more advantageous to both the government and the stakeholders,” Guerrero was quoted as saying.

Asked if BOC will issue amendments to the two orders, Guerrero told PortCalls in a text message: “as needed.”

CMO 05-2019 covers all truckers dealing directly with BOC on the transportation of goods on behalf of the importer or exporter. The term “truckers,” the order notes, shall refer to operators of land carriers that transport imported goods from the port of entry to another port of entry as exit point, to customs facilities and warehouses, to customs bonded warehouses, to Freeport zones, and to the consignee’s premises.

The new order is meant to identify and recognize truckers that may be authorized to transact with BOC in relation to the transport of imported goods. It is also meant to gather information on truckers in order to establish a database for risk management and enforcement, and improve compliance level for trade facilitation.

Stakeholders, however, have earlier voiced issues regarding the new policy, which requires truckers to register first with BOC’s Account Management Office (AMO) before handling import and export shipments.

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