The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has issued guidelines on penalties, surcharges, interests, and other charges imposed on the importer or owner seeking the lifting of the decree of implied abandonment of goods.
Customs Administrative Order (CAO) No. 13-2020 also covers penalties and other charges to be paid by the importer to recover part of the proceeds from the sale of such goods.
The order was signed by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III on October 21 and Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero on October 7. It takes effect 15 calendar days after its publication in the Official Gazette or a newspaper of national circulation.
The CAO is in relation to CAO 17-2019, which provides guidelines on the kinds, effects, and treatment of abandoned imported goods, and is pursuant to relevant provisions of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
CAO 3-2020 covers all impliedly abandoned goods, whether for consumption, warehousing, admission or transshipment.
Implied abandonment is when there is failure to do the following: lodge/file the goods declaration; pay the assessed duties and taxes; submit the required permit; claim the goods; or mark the goods.
The implied abandonment of goods may be lifted by the district collector upon request of the owner, importer or consignee after payment of fees and charges as provided under CAO 13-2020.
To claim impliedly abandoned goods, the owner, importer or consignee may request the lifting or setting aside of the decree of abandonment, and pay the required fees and charges.
Once the implied abandonment is lifted and unless the imported goods have already been released, the owner, importer or consignee may reclaim the goods by lodging or filing the corresponding goods declaration.
The owner or importer may likewise claim proceeds from the sale of the imported goods once any duty and tax and all other charges and expenses incurred have been deducted. To do this, the claimant may file a request at the Office of the District Collector within 30 calendar days from payment of the auction price by the winning bidder.
The penalties for the lifting of abandonment, claiming of impliedly abandoned goods, or recovery of proceeds from their sale depend on the reason the goods were considered impliedly abandoned. The penalties will also depend on whether a decree of abandonment has already been issued or not.
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