The Bureau of Customs joins forces with the Department of Finance (DOF), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other regulatory agencies of the government to man One-Stop-Shops (OSS) for round-the-clock processing of relief goods and other aid-related equipment donated by the international community. The OSS are located at entry points in Tacloban and Cebu, as well as the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
“The One-Stop-Shops (OSS) are designed to process relief goods expeditiously. While donated relief goods are exempt for paying duties and taxes, there are laws and processes governing the exemption. The OSS makes it faster, easier and simpler for donated relief goods to be cleared for release,” said Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon.
Under Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 8-2013, issued last November 11, 2013, Customs Port Collectors in Cebu, Tacloban and NAIA are directed to process goods, articles and equipment meant for relief operations and aid immediately upon arrival, and deploy personnel to man the OSS 24/7. The CMO also provides the guidelines and requirements for the customs clearance of the relief goods. These include a Letter of Intent to donate the goods to the DSWD or any DSWD-registered relief organization, a Bill of Lading or Airway Bill, and a Packing List or Commercial Invoice.
On Wednesday (November 13), the BOC’s OSS processed several foreign donations, including over 23,000 kilos of relief goods from the German government consigned by World Vision, as well as goods brought in by Plan International. The European Union Civil Protection Mechanism has likewise been activated to ensure coordinated relief efforts for the Philippines, with several member-states sending relief teams and goods, such as the government of France that sent over ten tons of humanitarian goods via Cebu.