BOC: No fine for errors in goods declaration beyond exporter’s control

Exporters will not be fined for clerical errors made in goods declaration resulting from circumstances beyond their control, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group (AOCG) said in a text message to PortCalls.

AOCG made the statement after PortCalls sought further explanation of AOCG memo 534-2021. The memo, which was signed by Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero and dated October 4, clarified the imposition of fines for clerical errors in export declaration under Customs Administrative Order 01-2021. CAO No. 01-2020 outlines BOC’s new fines and surcharges for clerical errors, misdeclaration, misclassification, and undervaluation. Under current rules, every clerical error in the lodgement of goods declaration is fined P5,000.

The clarification was cheered by exporters who have long complained of the fine levied against them for errors in goods declaration that are outside of their control, including foreign exchange fluctuations, buyer’s request for changes in the goods description, and changes in vessel arrival. They also claimed the accurate data needed for lodgment cannot, in most cases, be initially determined.

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