MANILA — The country’s largest business organization, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), has called on the government for thorough study of pre-shipment inspection system (PIS) proposed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
“This has to be carefully studied. There are many gray areas in the proposed system,” PCCI president Alfredo M. Yao said.
He stated that the government should address first a number of issues in trade facilitation and should assure that implementing the PIS will not be an additional burden to businesses.
The BOC’s proposed PIS orders all bulk, bulk-break, containerized and non-containerized cargoes arriving and entering in any port of entry in the country shall have load port survey (LPS) at the port of origin.
However, the business sector’s concern is that PIS is an additional cost in trade process.
“The proposed pre-shipment inspection system must not go against the goal of trade facilitation which is to reduce associated cost and maximize efficiency while safeguarding legitimate regulatory objectives,” the PCCI president said.
“By implementing this policy, are we just adding another layer to the already existing risk management and other clearance processes of customs? Who will bear the burden of the additional costs? Hopefully, it will not be us legitimate businesses,” he stressed.
The business organization noted that the government should assure the capability of data handling and integrity of the service providers, efficient coordination between customs and the service provider, dispute mechanism, and minimal costs, among others, before approving and implementing the PIS.
PCCI added that the proposed system is not being used by other developing economies.
“Instead of the PIS, BOC should focus on fast-tracking its efforts to modernize customs administration and implement institutional reforms if it wants to effectively curb smuggling and facilitate the movement of goods across borders,” Yao said.
Meanwhile, the BOC aims to implement the advanced cargo clearance system to promote revenue protection and to ensure the correct weight, quantity, quality, origin and description of cargoes.