BOC, BIR streamline rules to cut red tape, decongest ports

In file photo: Containers are stacked at the Manila North Harbor in Manila. The Bureau of Customs is mandated to complete the inspection of container vans in the country’s ports within 24 to 48 hours.

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) has issued Customs Memorandum Circular (CMC) 34-2019 in line with streamlining the procedures for the issuance of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) Authority to Release Imported Goods (Atrig).

The move is part of a slew of directives by relevant agencies to cut red tape and unclog congestion at the ports, among others.

Under CMC 34-2019, signed last week by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, the agency was instructed to align its procedures in terms of the issuance of the BIR’s Atrigs.

The BIR’s Atrig is necessary prior to the release of imported goods from the BOC. It clears the release of imported goods from the ports upon payment of rightful duties and taxes.

The CMC prescribes the use of BIR form 1918 for processing Atrigs, and designates the Revenue District Office with jurisdiction over the port of entry of the goods as the “appropriate office to receive and process all applications for Atrigs.”

Furthermore, it designates Marina C. de Guzman, regional director of Revenue Region 6, Manila, as the authorized signatory of Atrig covering imported items that enter the Port of Manila.

The issuance of CMC 34-2019 is in line with the BIR’s Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) 35-2002, calling for a uniform procedure for the processing and issuance of Atrigs to eliminate backlogs, among others.

In 2016, the BIR issued RMO 1-2016 mandating all importers of excisable products in the country to apply for Atrig only with the BIR head office in Quezon City.

Former Customs Commissioner Alberto D. Lina issued Customs Memorandum Order 7-2016 to support the BIR’s RMO 1-206.

The Department of Trade and Industry said in early February the government will issue a joint administrative order (JAO) overhauling the rules on customs fees and charges in a move seen to reduce operating costs and improve logistics efficiency.

Under the JAO, the BOC will regulate and monitor all fees on empty container returns and charges of shipping lines. Shipping lines will also be prohibited from imposing fees in the Philippines. All charges will instead be listed under their freight and other origin charges.


Rea Cu

Rea Cu is a graduate of Assumption College-Makati with a Bachelor's degree in Communications. She majored in Advertising and is currently the finance reporter of the BusinessMirror.