SHIPPER Hapag Lloyd has warned its clients about tougher rules imposed by the Philippines Bureau of Customs (BOC) regarded abandoned cargo.
In an advisory, Hapag Lloyd explained that “With immediate effect, consignees must clear all import containers arriving into all ports of the Philippines within 30 days after discharge. Failing which, cargo will be deemed abandoned and automatically owned by the Bureau of Customs, Philippines (BOC).”
Under BOC rules, a consignee can file a request for the release of overstaying cargo, but need to secure the approval of the BOC District Collector.
Hapag Lloyd stressed that it or any other carrier had no authority over the cargo once the BOC declared it “abandoned,” and that disposal or auction would be at the discretion of the BOC.
In addition, the shipper and consignee will be held responsible for all costs including carrier demurrage once a container falls under BOC’s jurisdiction.
Hapag Lloyd said, “We would like to bring to your attention that this will bring about a tedious process, which will result in opportunity costs and loss of income for carrier where containers are being held by the authorities.”
In order to prevent abandonment, Hapag Lloyd said that before bookings are accepted, consignees must be legal importers, possess valid import permits to clear the shipments, as well as all other pertinent documents necessary for clearance.