Customs, other gov’t agencies team up to reduce face-to-face transactions in PH ports

Published August 7, 2020, 11:03 PM

by Betheena Unite

Face-to-face contact in all ports in the country is expected to be further reduced as the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and other government agencies forged a more collaborative effort to implement streamlined online Customs procedures.

(Photo from BOC)

The BOC, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Department of Trade and Industry, and the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) recently signed Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) 01-2020 to formalize their collaborative relationship to fully implement the automation of processes with the bureau.

These include the mandatory requirements for the online filing and processing of applications for permits, licenses, and gate passes as well as online payment of port dues, fees, terminal handling, and related charges, Customs duties and taxes, and shipping lines charges for the release of cargoes in Metro Manila Ports.

Under the JMC, all port users shall utilize the online platforms of the BOC, PPA, International Container Terminals Services Inc. (ICTSI), Asian Terminal Inc. (ATI), Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. (HCPTI), and other port operators for the filing of applications for permits and clearances, including documentary requirements for the release of cargoes from the different international ports in Metro Manila.

Port users include importers, exporters and their authorized representatives, freight forwarders, logistics companies, cargo truck operators, container yard operators, and other stakeholders.

According to Assistant Commissioner Vincent Philip Maronilla, the JMC covers “all ports but for BOC we asked for a short time to set up our onine platforms in our outports.”

Payment of fees and charges shall be paid by the client through online accredited banks and payment channels of the BOC, PPA, and the terminal ports.

“For BOC, Payment Application Secure System Version 5.0 (PASS5) system will remain operational for the payment of Customs duties, taxes, import and export related fees, and charges,” the bureau said.

Other fees and charges collected by the Customs bureau, such as registration and renewal fees, and miscellaneous fees, shall also be processed and paid online through PASS5 or the BOC Customer Care Portal System and PayMaya Payment Solutions.

After payment, a scanned or digital copy of the official receipts shall be transmitted to the client through any of the available digital messaging platforms of the agency.  

Gate passes, on the other hand, shall be processed electronically and printed offsite at the office.  However, for general, break-bulk, bulk and/or other non-containerized cargoes, gate passes shall be issued only upon the actual loading of the cargoes in their respective trucks.

“Certain protocols are also included in the JMC in cases when the online system of the agency or the port operator goes offline due to technical problems to ensure the unhampered and complete services during the unavailability of the online system,” the bureau said.

Automation of processes for the release of cargoes, the bureau added, is pursuant to the Republic Act No. 11032 or the “Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018” and Administrative Order No. 23 or “Eliminating Overregulation to Promote Efficiency of Government Processes” issued by  President  Duterte last February.