BOC revises rules on importers, brokers accreditation

MANILA -- The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has amended rules on the accreditation of importers and brokers in a bid to stop consignees-for-hire and fly-by-night importers and brokers.

Based on Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 02-2018, Customs Commissioner Isidro LapeAa has now the sole authority to approve or disapprove the accreditation of such stakeholders.

Under the order which was signed on Jan. 11, application for accreditation, suspension, revocation, cancellation, and reactivation of importers' and customs brokers' accreditation are all subject to the approval of the Commissioner upon the recommendation of the Account Management Office (AMO).

"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," he said in a statement.

At the same time, the CMO added that importers and customs brokers with disapproved application could file a request for reconsideration to the Chief of AMO.

The new order amends CMO 04-2014 that authorizes the Chief of Account Management Office to approve the accreditation while the Deputy Commissioner of the Revenue Collection Monitoring Group is in charge of the suspension, revocation, and cancellation of the BOC stakeholders' accreditation.

Meanwhile, in a separate memorandum, the bureau has 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, the order added.

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.

This is in line with the implementation of CMO 11-2014 or the Guidelines for Registration of Importers and Customs Brokers with the BOC.

LapeAa has repeatedly called on the importers and brokers to stop their illegal practices and abide by the law.

"We will revoke the accreditation of the erring importers and brokers if that's the only way to stop them," he said.

As of December 2017, 14,795 importers and 1,888 customs brokers are actively transacting with the bureau.

Last year, 204 importers and 94 customs brokers were suspended after violating various customs and tariff laws.

Source: Philippine News Agency