by Ben Rosario
Muntinlupa City Rep. Rozzano Rufino Biazon yesterday urged government to reject moves to establish temporary storages for overstaying and abandoned cargoes at Manila ports, saying that the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will only face more serious problems under the proposal.
Biazon, who headed the BOC under the Aquino administration, called on incumbent Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon to turn down the proposal that would trigger further red tape as it will add another layer in the bureaucracy.
The administration lawmaker said Faeldon should instead heed the instructions of President Duterte to ensure ease of doing business by adopting a KISS or “Keep It Short and Simple System.”
“The planned transfer of overstaying and abandoned cargoes is just a temporary answer. A more appropriate solution should be formulated,” Biazon said in reaction to the draft Customs Administrative Order (CAO), which will implement Section 307 of Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
He added: “The better thing to do is to look for a permanent solution which is to fast track the disposition of overstaying and abandoned goods.”
Under the draft order, the temporary bodegas will take care of the abandoned and overstaying cargoes at the Port of Manila and the Manila International Container Port. It also proposes that the BOC impose rates for storage services in identified Customs facilities and warehouses.
The BOC directive, Biazon said, has been widely criticized by various stakeholders who warned it will only encourage corruption and eventually lead to higher prices of goods.
Meanwhile, importers with seized shipments were given 15 days to explain the circumstances of their questionable imports to avoid the suspension of their Customs accreditation.
In a notice to importers dated last July 7, Deputy Commissioner for Management Information System and Technology Group (MISTG) Gerardo Gambala said “importers are given a period of 15 calendar days from date of email notification to submit their written explanation, unless said explanation was previously undertaken in compliance with the show cause orders of the Bureau’s Account Management Office (AMO).”
Gambala said the move is to ensure that only compliant importers remain accredited by the Bureau of Customs (BOC)
The notice covered a total of 1,469 importers with shipments seized or forfeited from July 2010 to December 2016 at 14 collection districts.
BOC said the importers have 15 calendar days to submit a written explain why their accreditation should not be suspended.
The period will not be extended, Gambala said. (With a report from Betheena Kae Unite)