CUSTOMS Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero has said that the 10-point priority program of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) in 2021 will focus on the implementation of the customs modernization program and other related projects to improve its delivery of services to its stakeholders.

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Guerrero said these related priority initiatives include the: intensification of post clearance audit and post modification; the onboarding of 15 agencies to the National Single Window (NSW); full implementation of the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program; and promotion and application of the Advance Ruling Program.

Also on the BOC’s priority list, said Guerrero, are the pursuit of integrity development and quality management; strengthening of port surveillance, marine interdiction, and water patrol capability; enhancement of Customs facilities and warehouses management; streamlining of export clearance process; and simplification of 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.

Guerrero said the BOC 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, the BOC 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 the BOC 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.

The BOC 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 the BOC 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.

The BOC 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 and prevent the entry of illegal commodities,” Guerrero said.

In improving customs facilities and warehouses management, he said the BOC 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 BOC will simplify its informal entry process through automation and streamline its export clearance procedures by using computerized systems and modern techniques in the processing of export declarations, issuance of certificates of origin and proof of origin.

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

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