New BOC imports list takes effect April

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) will implement next month a master list of regulated imported products with corresponding requirements such as permits and clearances for compliance by importers and customs brokers, BOC Commissioner John Sevilla said on Friday.

He said it will be the first time the BOC will use a single reference list, as part of efforts to enhance transparency, and “it will be an offense for any customs official to ask for permits of products not on the list.”

“We are not trying to collect every single peso that we can. We’re trying to collect every single peso that is fair,” Sevilla told the National Competitive Council (NCC) Dialogue on “Understanding Customs’ Regulated Imports List.”

A final version of the Regulated Imports List can be downloaded at the BOC website customs. gov. ph on April 2. The BOC will implement the new list and its corresponding requirements on April 20.

The list contains more than 7,400 regulated products ranging from basic commodities like rice and sugar, vehicles, iron and steel products, oil and electronic goods. It specifies the pre-requisite documents to get Customs clearance, and links to regulating agencies.

Sevilla said he hoped the regulating agencies would review their rules and regulations on import clearances and permits “so we can have unified clearances for products that are presently require more than one permit to import.”

“This is the first time such a ‘bible’ for all regulated imports and their corresponding import requirements has ever been compiled.  This is truly a major step in improving the Customs process,” he said.

Sevilla said the list will be updated on a regular basis and he called on regulating agencies to inform the BOC at least one month in advance about changes in their import regulations.

“None of these are our rules. We are just enforcers,” Sevilla said. “The importers should discuss with regulatory agencies their concerns.”

Guillermo Luz, NCC Private Sector Co-Chairman, said the country needed transparency, predictability and consistency, which will benefit everybody.

“This is a collective effort from the business community and regulatory agencies. Collectively, if we execute this well, it will be our competitive advantage,” Luz said.

By VOLTAIRE PALAÑA, Reporter, The Manila Times
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