• Customs rid of erring brokers and importers

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    THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) has started cleansing its list of more than 11,000 accredited importers and customs brokers of misfits and those who have repeatedly violated existing laws and the bureau’s policies and procedures as part of its continuing reform efforts.

    Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon on Friday ordered the suspension of the accreditation of an initial 100 plus Customs importers and brokers who are facing charges for violation of the Customs and Tariff Code of the Philippines, including misdeclaration and undervaluation, among other forms of technical smuggling for the July to December 2016 period only.

    “This is just the beginning. We are still looking into the records of 11,000 others,” Faeldon said even as he assured erring brokers and importers of due process.

    According to him, those who were suspended have 30 days to appeal their cases and come out clean.

    All suspensions, revocations and cancellation of accreditation are under the jurisdiction of the Account Manageement Office (AMO), formerly known as the Interim Customs Accreditation Registration or I-CARE.

    Customs Administrative Order (CAO) No. 8-2007 and Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 28-2007 state that the imported articles must be described in sufficient detail for proper valuation and tariff classification.

    Importers and brokers are responsible for enumerating details such as specific product description; make, model, variant and brand; and retail packaging or stock-keeping unit (SKU) in the import entries filed with the bureau.

    Section 3.5 of Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 04-2014   states that “the existing accreditation of an importer or Customs broker may be suspended, revoked or cancelled” if there are violations of the ‘Sworn Undertaking’ to strictly abide with existing rules and regulations on the Statement of Full Description of Imported Articles covered by entry declarations.”

    Faeldon called on importers and brokers to strictly follow the bureau’s rules and policies, warning that he has zero tolerance for corruption and other shenanigans.

    “It’s either you help us in reforming the bureau or you stop transacting with the bureau,” the Customs chief said.

    Under CMO 04-2014, all importers and Customs brokers transacting with the BoC should apply for accreditation, except once-a-year importation; importation by parcel post or by informal entry; importation of the Philippine Government, its agencies and instrumentalities; and importation of foreign embassies, consulates, legations, agencies of other foreign governments and international organizations with diplomatic status and recognized by the government, like the Asian Development Bank and the World Health Organization. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL

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