Customs enforces zero-contact policy with importers, brokers in processing documents

Published August 15, 2019, 10:19 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera & Richa Noriega

By Betheena Unite

Importers and brokers were reminded Thursday that a zero-contact policy in declaring their shipments has been enforced in the Bureau of Customs.

Bureau of Customs (MANILA BULLETIN)
Bureau of Customs (MANILA BULLETIN)

In an advisory late Thursday, the bureau said that in compliance with the Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018, it shall adopt the zero-contact policy to minimize face-to-face transactions between customs employees and stakeholders. This scheme also aims to help in getting rid of corruption in the bureau.

With this, inquiries and follow ups of importers, brokers, and representatives shall be entertained through the bureau’s Customer Care Portal in its website. The bureau said this is “in order to encourage a transparent, honest and efficient delivery of government services and to discourage red tape and other forms of irregularities.”

They only have to register for an account in order to open a ticket and a customs officer will attend to their concerns, the bureau added.

It can be recalled that the bureau launched various modernization system to transition into computerized process. Modernization projects such as Goods Declaration Verification System, National Value Verification System, BOC Portal, Document Tracking System, among others were earlier launched by the Customs bureau.

These systems are designed to improve transparency and reduce opportunities for corruption, as well as to establish a seamless trade service with lesser human intervention.