IN a bid to eradicate consignees-for-hire and fly-by-night importers and brokers, the Bureau of Customs (BoC) has amended its rules for accreditation.
Under Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 02-2018, Commissioner Isidro Lapena now has the sole authority to approve or disapprove application for accreditation, suspension, revocation, cancellation, and reactivation of accreditation upon the recommendation of the Account Management Office (AMO).
CMO 02-2018 supercedes CMO 04-2014, which previously authorized the chief of the AMO to approve the accreditation and the deputy commissioner for revenue collection and monitoring group in charge of the suspension, revocation, and cancellation of the stakeholders’ accreditation.
Under the present set up, importers and customs brokers with disapproved application can still file a request for reconsideration to the chief of AMO.
Lapena has repeatedly called on the importers and brokers to stop their illegal practices and abide by the law since assuming his post on August 30.
“We will check the validity of the documents submitted by the importers and brokers to ensure that only legitimate traders are transacting with the bureau,” Lapena said.
“We will revoke the accreditation of the erring importers and brokers if that’s the only way to stop them,” he added.
As of December 2017, 14,795 importers and 1,888 customs brokers are actively transacting with the bureau. In 2017 alone, 204 importers and 94 customs brokers were suspended for violating various customs and tariff laws.
In a separate memorandum, Lapena also limited the number of authorized representatives of a customs broker transacting with the bureau.
“To safeguard the interest of the government and to ensure the accountability of customs brokers, customs brokers are required to submit to AMO the names of the three authorized representatives assigned to each port,” he said.
Authorized representatives are processors who act in behalf of the customs broker to transact with the BoC.
The Bureau, upon the approval of the Commissioner, may allow additional authorized representatives depending on the customs brokers’ volume of transaction. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL