By Betheena Kae Unite
The Bureau of Customs will soon know the contents of foreign carriers ahead of its arrival in Philippine ports when it fully implements this month a transparency tool used by the World Customs Organization.
Following the pilot-testing of the WCO’s cargo targeting system (CTS) in Philippine ports since October 2, the Customs bureau announced it will fully implement the system on the third week of October.
“After the successful demonstration and pilot testing, the Bureau of Customs is now ready to launch and use the WCO Cargo Targeting System, which will increase its capability to profile and target high-risk cargoes,” the bureau said in a statement.
The cargo targeting system is a tool for advanced profiling of shipments before they arrive at any Philippine ports using the manifest data given by the shipping lines and airlines.
Under the system, the Customs bureau will require shipping lines to comply with mandated timelines for the submission of manifests.
The new system will require foreign carriers –sea vessels and aircraft — or their authorized agents to electronically transmit cargo information in advance using manifest data for profiling, risk assessment, anti-terrorism, law enforcement, and other related purposes.
Assistant Commissioner Vincent Maronilla said this will be the first time that the system will be fully-implemented in the country, covering all ports under the Customs bureau. The centralized system will be handled by the Intelligence Group of the bureau.
With its scheduled full implementation this month, Maronilla said, “there is no resistance from the shipping line” as this is a system recognized and practiced internationally by more progressive countries.
“The system will allow us to have an advance information on the shipments that will also allow us to managed risks like potential security risks,” Maronilla added.
The system will enable the Customs bureau to perform a comprehensive and effective risk assessment of import, export, and transshipment cargo to identify high-risk shipments and to facilitate trade.
The move is part of the 10-Point Priority Program of the bureau to boost trade efficiency, while ensuring border security.