BOC, DOF ink trade facilitation program for honest traders

August 28, 2017 - 10:33 PM
(Reuters file)

MANILA – Honest traders transacting business with the government will soon be rewarded. This, after the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Department of Finance (DOF) signed Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 5-2017 establishing the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program.

The program gives incentives to stakeholders with a high level of compliance with Customs rules and regulations. It covers the processes, mechanism, and benefits of an AEO-accredited stakeholder.

“Applicants must meet the standard of reliability and trustworthiness, which shall be measured by its level of risk, the nature of the business and the conduct of its importation as against customs revenue, compliance, and cargo security,” according to the order.

Some of the benefits provided in the CAO are: exemption from renewal of accreditation; processing and selectivity lane for AEO shipment with no documentary, physical and non-intrusive examination; advance cargo clearance; one-time exemption certificate; and expedited Customs clearance for exports.

The program has three components:
• cargo security system which will ensure the integrity and security of the imported good;
• trade clearance system that enables highly compliant stakeholders to clear their goods with minimum customs border intervention; and
• mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) which provides for process to implement and maintain mutual recognition between two or more Customs administrations.

Under the CAO, stakeholders who may apply for accreditation are: importers; exporters; Customs Bonded Warehouse (CBW) and Customs Facility Warehouse (CFW); Customs brokers; Non Vessel Owning Common Carrier (NVOCC); local and international freight forwarders with offices in the Philippines; Shipping lines or airlines and their agents;, authorized agent banks (AAB); local transport operators.

Also qualified to apply for accreditation are foreign suppliers, manufacturers, and other entities in the logistics and international supply chain accredited as AEO by another country with which the Philippines has a Mutual Recognition Arrangement.

CAO 5-2017 serves as the implementing rules and regulations of Section 1227 and 1228 of Republic Act 10863, or the Customs and Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

Meanwhile, CAO warned applicants that any false or misleading information in the documents submitted as well as the commission of Customs laws violation shall be grounds for denial of the application.

The CAO is effective next month or after 15 days after its publication. It was published last Aug. 23.