Authority to approve accreditation of importers, broker left to commissioner

Published January 21, 2018, 1:31 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Betheena Kae Unite

The authority to approve or disapprove the accreditation of importers and brokers is now solely left to the Customs commissioner in a bid to rid the bureau of consignees-for-hire and fly-by-night importers and brokers.

Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 02-2018 dated January 11 stated that the 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).

In case of disapproval of application, importers and customs brokers can file a request for reconsideration to the Chief of AMO, the new memorandum stated.

Customs commissioner Isidro Lapeña gestures during Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the P6.4-billion shabu shipment that entered the country from China, October 4,2017. (Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN)
Customs commissioner Isidro Lapeña (Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN)

“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,” Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said Wednesday.

In the past, the AMO chief has the power 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, according to the CMO 04-2014.

It can be recalled that the bureau has ordered a limited number of authorized representatives of a customs broker transacting with the Bureau of Customs.

Customs brokers are required to submit to AMO the names of the three authorized representatives assigned to each port.

However, the bureau may allow additional authorized representatives depending on the customs brokers’ volume of transaction but this has to be approved by the commissioner.

“We will revoke the accreditation of the erring importers and brokers if that’s the only way to stop them,” Lapeña said as he repeatedly called on importers and brokers over their illegal practices in the bureau.

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

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 after violating various customs and tariff laws.