THE Customs commissioner and his designated representatives are now the only officials at the Bureau of Customs (BOC) with the authority to suspend or cancel the accreditation of importers and customs brokers.
Customs chief Nicanor Faeldon announced the directive in an August 30 memorandum to employees and officials of the agency.
Previously, the accreditation of importers and customs brokers may be suspended or cancelled if, among others, the Account Management Office (AMO) discovers, during the application process, any inaccuracy in documents submitted.
Faeldon’s order was issued after the Office of the Commissioner received reports that “unscrupulous AMO personnel have been using the threat of suspension or cancellation of accreditation of importer or broker, citing CMO 11-2014, to harass, intimidate, and extort from said importers and brokers.”
CMO 11-2014 contains the revised guidelines for registering importers and customs brokers with the BOC.
Faeldon said in a statement that “pending verification of these harassment and extortion complaints from numerous importers and brokers, it is hereby ordered that only the Commissioner of Customs or his authorized representative/s can order the suspension and/or cancellation of registration of importers and brokers, in accordance with existing regulations.”
In view of this, the officer-in-charge of BOC’s Management Information System and Technology Group was directed to immediately cancel the passwords of all AMO personnel to prevent their access to the electronic-to-mobile (e2m) system.
The e2m platform holds the Client Profile Registration System that facilitates the capture of client information during the accreditation or registration of BOC stakeholders.
The AMO, formerly the Interim Customs Accreditation and Registration Unit, is responsible for accepting and processing importer and customs broker accreditation requests.