The Department of Finance (DOF) has set up a website where stakeholders can access information about, and suggest recommendations on, the proposed implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of a law that aims to modernize the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and institute reforms in the agency.
Republic Act 10863, also known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), is designed to modernize BOC rules and procedures to facilitate trade, cut red tape and corruption, and improve the delivery of BOC-related services.
The microsite can be accessed by the public at www.dof.gov.ph/cmta_irr.
For inquiries, comments and suggestions on the proposed IRR of the law, one can email the CMTA Project Management Office and Secretariat at email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last August 17, the DOF and the BOC held the first of a series of public consultations on the CMTA’s implementing rules at the Ayuntamiento de Manila in Intramuros, where some 100 stakeholders from the private sector attended the meeting. The dates of the next public consultations will be published on the microsite.
The easy-to-navigate microsite contains the drafting process, timelines, and guidelines on the crafting of the IRR, and also includes a list of priority concerns on the CMTA and the point persons assigned to each topic.
These include concerns on de minimis importations, alert orders, and risk management in customs control, the customs bonded warehousing system, post clearance audit, advance ruling system, and conditional tax- and duty- exempt importations for balikbayans, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), and returning residents, among others.
The site aims to organize online queries and recommendations on the drafting of the IRR by encouraging stakeholders to submit position papers using the template that can be downloaded from the site.
To further ensure transparency, the site also aims to track the development of Customs Administrative Orders through an “Elements Matrix” that can also be accessed online.
The site also provides an overview of the law’s provisions and what stakeholders can expect from the new statute to aid them in understanding the CMTA.
It additionally provides legal materials for interested stakeholders, such as the texts of the CMTA, the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, and the Kyoto Convention.
Under the new customs law, the BOC is required to come up with an improved system on customs administration and procedures that comply with international standards.
Amending certain provisions of the Tariff and Customs Code, the new law sets tougher penalties against smuggling, with a maximum prison term of 20 to 40 years depending on the amount of goods illegally brought into the country.
The CMTA also increases the value on de minimis importations, which means shipments valued at P10,000 or below will not be subjected to duties or taxes. Further, OFWs can now ship up to P150,000 worth of goods of non-commercial quantities in balikbayan boxes duty- and tax-free.
Under RA 10863, Filipinos who have stayed in the country for at least 10 years and are returning to the Philippines are granted duty and tax exemptions for personal and household effects worth P350,000 and below that they will bring with them when they come home.
For Filipinos who have lived overseas for at least five years, the duty- and tax-free exemption for personal and household effects is up to P250,000, while those who have stayed abroad for under five years would get an exemption for personal effects worth up to P150,000.
Among the other expected reforms under the CMTA are the full electronic processing of all documents, forms, and receipts, along with streamlining methods for the examination and valuation of imports and exports.