Modernization is top Customs priority for 2021

Published March 2, 2021, 6:30 AM

by Chino S. Leyco

The Bureau of Customs said it will focus on the implementation of the agency’s modernization program and other related projects this year to improve its delivery of services to stakeholders. 

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero presented the bureau’s 10-point priority program for 2021, which includes intensification of post clearance audit and post modification.

Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III (Bloomberg file photo)

Guerrero also plans to put onboard additional agencies to the National Single Window (NSW), adopt the full implementation of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program as well as promotion and application of the Advance Ruling Program.

Also on the priority list, Guerrero said, are the pursuit of integrity development and quality management as well as strengthening of port surveillance, marine interdiction, and water patrol capability.

The bureau also wants to enhance Customs facilities and warehouses management, streamline export clearance process and simplify informal entry processing.

 “Your plans for next year are all very sound and I am sure that you will achieve even more as we go forward. You can count on our 100-percent support,” Dominguez told Guerrero in a recent meeting at the Department of Finance headquarters.

Guerrero said Customs will step up its post clearance audit and post modification capacity this year to check and verify the compliance of importers to customs laws and regulations through computer-aided mechanisms and improved guidelines and procedures. 

This year, Customs will promote the use of the NSW among stakeholders and will work on the onboarding of 15 additional regulatory agencies to participate in this internet-based system on facilitating export- and import-related requirements, Guerrero said. 

He said Customs will fully implement its AEO Program in 2021 by creating an online portal for AEOs and drafting the necessary customs order for this project. 

 “Accredited AEOs can enjoy several trade facilitation benefits which include, expedited processing and release of shipments, priority processing by customs particularly, and mutual recognition of AEO status by Customs authorities,” Guerrero said. 


Customs will also highlight the application of its electronic Advance Ruling System this year as it provides consistency to the assessment of a good’s value, and adds certainty and predictability to international trade, he said. 

Guerrero said Customs will continue to instill good governance, professionalism and integrity in the agency and its personnel through integrity development this year.  

 “Moreover, the Bureau will continue to align its Offices with ISO certification standards to demonstrate our ability to consistently provide quality service that meets customer and regulatory requirements,” he said.

Customs will continue to strengthen its port surveillance, marine interdiction and water patrol capability in 2021 by “increasing police manpower, conducting series of marine interdiction for capacity building and providing modern equipment to heighten border control capabilities.”

In improving customs facilities and warehouses management, he said Customs will exercise full authority to enhance its management over these facilities across the country and use digital tools to protect government revenues.

This year, Guerrero said the bureau will simplify its informal entry process through automation and streamline its export clearance procedures by using computerized systems and modern techniques.

 “In addition, the BOC will establish a comprehensive reporting and monitoring system for all export transactions,” he said.