Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Customs Broker Licensure Exam 2009 Results

Congratulations to all those who have passed the 2009 CBLE. You are now on your way on becoming licensed customs broker. Godspeed everyone!

Read more for the list of  passers.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Updated List of Customs Issuances

Here is the updated list of customs issuances.

Amendments to CAO 1-2007: Penalties Related to Inward Cargo Manifest and Consolidated Cargo Manifest
Additional Guidelines For The Accreditation Of Information Validation Service Provider (IVSP)
Executive Order No. 691, Temporarily Modifying the Rates of Import Duty On Crude Petroleum Oils and Refined Petroleum Products Under Section 104 of The TCCP of 1978 (P.D. No. 1464), as amended
Executive Order No. 691, Temporarily Modifying the Rates of Import Duty On Crude Petroleum Oils and Refined Petroleum Products Under Section 104 of The TCCP of 1978 (P.D. No. 1464), as amended
CPRS Registration of Once-A-Year Importer (Previously First and Last Importation Scheme)
Supplemental Guidelines in the Implementation of Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 27-2009 regarding Tentative Release
Amending Annex “A” of CMO 27-2009 – Procedures for the Implementation of e2m Customs System – Phase 3: Import Assessment System (IAS) in all Ports Nationwide
One-Stop Shop in the BOC to Expedite in Processing and Release of Importations of Donated Relief Goods/Articles/Equipment
Authorizing the Department of Finance, for the Duration of the Current Emergency, Complete Discretion in Authorizing Tax and Tariff Exemptions for Relief Goods Donated from Abroad

Monday, October 12, 2009

FAQS: Donations to the Philippines

( Source: Commission on Filipinos Overseas )
1. WHO CAN DONATE? Any individual, group, or organization abroad can send donations to the Philippines. To avail of duty-free entry of donations, however, there are certain conditions and requirements that have to be complied with under existing rules and regulations governing the importation of donations. There are specific items which may be allowed duty-free entry, as there are organizations/ entities in the Philippines that are allowed to receive donations on a duty-free basis.
2. WHAT CAN BE DONATED? Goods or items which may be allowed duty-free entry by the Philippine government are the following:
Food items and non-food commodities for relief dispensing organizations;
Medicines and medical supplies/ equipment;
Books and other educational, scientific, or cultural materials;
Essential machinery and equipment, including spare parts and accessories thereof;
Essential consumer goods not available locally in times of calamities and/ or fortuitous events; and
Other articles in the interest of economic development, not included in the list of prohibited/ contraband and restricted/ regulated items issued by government agencies concerned subject to certain conditions.
3. WHO CAN RECEIVE DONATIONS FROM ABROAD? The following agencies/ entities/ institutions in the Philippines may receive donations on a duty-free basis:
Non-profit, welfare, religious, and charitable organizations which are registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and duly licensed/ accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as provided for in Section 105 (1) of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines;
Educational institutions accredited by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (DECS) that are enjoying tax incentives under Department of Finance (DOF) Order No. 137-87;
Educational, scientific, and cultural institutions or societies, and similar organizations duly approved by competent authorities such as DECS and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) National Commission of the Philippines;
Other non-profit religious and charitable institutions (except civic/ service/ cultural and scientific organizations), duly registered primary and secondary hospitals upon recommendation by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA); and
Other organizations covered by bilateral or international agreements to which the Philippines is a signatory, and by Presidential decrees and other special laws.
Government agencies including local government units may also receive donations, in cash or in kind, from foreign sources for purposes relevant to their functions. The acceptance of donations from foreign governments is, however, subject to prior clearance and approval of the President of the Philippines upon recommendation of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs (General Provisions of the General appropriations Act). Taxes and customs duties to be paid by government agencies on this importation will be subject to automatic appropriations (General Provisions of the General Appropriations Act). NOTE: Other organizations not licensed or accredited by DSWD, Department of Health (DOH), and DECS may also receive donations but they will be required to pay customs duties and taxes. . All importations of donated articles are subject to the payment of the of Value-Added Tax (VAT) unless expressly exempt from such imposition Under Title IV, Chapter I, Section 1 of the VAT law. The VAT is Equivalent to about 10% of the landed cost of the shipment.
4. WHAT ARE THE DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO AVAIL OF DUTY-FREE ENTRY OF DONATIONS? The documents required prior to the issuance of duty-free certification by government agencies concerned are the following:
From the Donor:
Deed of donation duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/ Consulate;
Pro-forma or commercial invoice and packing list/ inventory of donated items;and
Shipping documents (bill of lading/ airway bill).
From the Donee:
Letter of request to agencies concerned for duty-free certification;
Notarized deed of acceptance and distribution plan of the recipient Endorsed by the DSWD Regional Office where the NGO is based, if the recipient endorsed by the DSWD Regional Office where the NGO is based, if the recipient is a DSWD-accredited or licensed NGO.
Other documents may be requested depending on the nature of donated articles.
5. WHAT ARE THE OBLIGATIONS OF QUALIFIED BENEFICIARIES OR RECIPIENT ORGANIZATIONS? The recipient organization is usually expected to shoulder the cost of the following:
Shipment cost from port of origin to port of entry.
Arrastre and wharfage charges. Storage fees for donated goods kept at the storage area (i.e., NAIA Cargo Terminal, Manila International Container Port, South Harbor) while awaiting release from the custody of the Bureau of Customs, if the cargo is not withdrawn within seven (7) working days.
Demurrage fees (being charged by the shipping lines) for the use of the containers/ vans, if the cargo is not withdrawn within seven to ten (7-10) working days depending on the policy of the shipping agency.
Trucking fees to transport cargo from the container yard to the recipient/ consignee’s warehouse.
Customs brokerage fees, if services of a customs broker or a brokerage firm is availed of.
NOTE: If the recipient is not in a financial position to defray the aforementioned fees, the donor should be made aware that other fees/ charges will be collected on the donations upon arrival of the shipment in the Philippines.
Prospective donors who intend to ship goods/ articles/ equipment must inform the nearest Philippine Embassy/ Consulate of their intention to donate. The donor will need to provide the Embassy/ Consulate with a complete list of items to be donated, the name of donee/ recipient organization, complete address and telephone number of the recipient and the contact person in the Philippines.
The Philippine Embassy/ Consulate will refer prospective donations to the CFO, which will make appropriate arrangements with the relevant agencies in the Philippines.
Upon receipt of the notice of an intent to donate from the Philippine Embassy/ Consulate, the CFO will coordinate with government agencies concerned, and the designated beneficiary to determine if the intended donations are eligible for duty-free entry and if the intended beneficiary is allowed or accredited to accept donations. The CFO will inform the Philippine Embassy/ Consulate about the requirements and obligations in connection with the intended donation.
The Philippine Embassy/ Consulate concerned will advise the donor about the eligibility of the intended donations, and the requirements for duty-free entry. If the donor decides to ship the donations, the Philippine Embassy/ Consulate authenticates the Deed of Donation. Shipment of Donation To allow sufficient time for the processing of the donation, the donor must send copies of the required documents to the recipient at least 2-3 weeks prior to the arrival of the shipment in the Philippines.
The donor must send original copies of the following documents to the recipient before the date of arrival of the shipment to the Philippines:
Deed of donation duly authenticated by the Philippine Embassy/ Consulate
Pro-forma or commercial invoice and packing list (inventory of donated items); and
Shipping documents (bill of lading/ airway bill).
The donor must ensure that the name of consignee is identical in both deed of donation and shipping documents. More importantly, the donor must see to it that the donated shipment contains only the items in the packing list. These measures will avoid cause for problems in the processing of the donation. The donor must send in advance copies of the required documents to the recipient to allow a lead time in requesting pertinent agencies for duty-free endorsements/ clearances. The donor may send advance copies of the aforementioned documents to the CFO through the Philippine Embassy/ Consulate for purposes of coordination. The original documents should be received by the beneficiary or consignee not later than the date of arrival of the shipment in the Philippines.
Upon receipt of the advance copies of required documents from the donor, the recipient will be advised to coordinate with appropriate agencies and submit required documents. The recipient must monitor the arrival of the shipment by coordinating with the shipping by coordinating with the shipping agency. The shipping agency will usually send an arrival notice to the consignee. Processing of Donations
Upon receipt of the request of the consignee for duty-free importation, the agency concerned (DSWD, DECS, or NEDA) will recommend to the Department of Finance (DOF) that the importation be exempted from customs duties, if deemed meritorious. These agencies can also recommend denial of the request for exemption from duties and taxes if the donation does not satisfy the policy guidelines in the applicable rules and regulations. The maximum processing time of requests for duty-free importation is about 2-3 working days.
Upon endorsement of the appropriate agency for duty-free certification, the DOF will issue a clearance and will forward this document to the Central Records Division, Bureau of Customs (BOC) through its official messenger. A duplicate copy of the DOF clearance may be obtained by the consignee from DOF.
The Tax Exempt Division of the BOC will endorse the release of donation and will forward this document to the Informal Entry Division of the BOC district office concerned (South Harbor, MIPC, NAIA, etc.) The Informal Entry Division checks/ verifies, appraises and examines the donated shipment.
After the consignee complies with all the documentation and pays the fees and charges (such as arrastre, wharfage, VAT, etc.), the Bureau of Customs will release the shipment to the consignee in the presence of representatives from DSWD and the Economic Intelligence and Investigation Bureau who will escort the donation to the designated warehouse of consignee.
Processing of donations at the BOC usually takes two to three (2-3) working days (assuming all requirements are complied with). The recipient may also avail of the services of a brokerage firm in processing the release of the donated shipment. It should be noted that tax obligations on imported donations refer to two (2) government requirements namely:
a. Customs duty under the Tariff and Customs Code; and b. Internal revenue taxes (VAT) under the National Internal Revenue Code.
Further, the Customs Code provides that in order for articles to be exempted from customs duty, the donation must be for charitable purposes, i.e., relief goods. In the case of donated goods authorized under NEDA Guidelines, the nature of the articles being donated and the prospective donee thereof will be the determining factors in the grant of duty exemption. As a matter of procedure, NEDA would nonetheless recommend the proper action to take on importation of donations brought to its attention. Monitoring
Upon release at the Bureau of Customs, the recipient will conduct an inventory of the donated shipment. An inventory report will be a part of the documents to be submitted to the government agencies concerned and to the donor.
The CFO, upon the request of the Philippine Embassy/ Consulate or the donor, will prepare a monitoring report on the donation, and provide feedback to the donor on the utilization of donated resources.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Collection of Customs Issuances and Regulations

Amendment to Section VI. par. (4) of CMO 32-2007

Abolition Of The Interim Scanning Unit And Transfer Of Its Functions To The X-Ray Inspection Project
Procedures For The Payment Of Advance Duty Deposit And The Final Payables Implementing CAO 10-2008 And BSP Circular 638 Series 2009
Electronic Transmission Of The Certificate Of Payment / Clearance (e-CPC) To The Land Transportation Office
Executive Order No. 691, Temporarily Modifying The Rates Of Import Duty On Crude Petroleum Oils And Refined Petroleum Products Under Section 104 Of The TCCP Of 1978 (P.D. No. 1464), As Amended
Guidelines In The Implementation Of The Border Patrol Agreement And Border Crossing Agreement Between The Government Of The Republic Of Indonesia And The Government Of The Republic Of The Philippines
Procedures For The Implementation Of e2m Customs – Import Assessment System (IAS) At The Port Of Batangas Starting March 21, 2009
Creating The New Composition Of The Committee To Supervise The Printing Of Various BOC Accountable Forms And Defining Its Duties And Functions
Definitive General Safeguard Duty On Importations Of Clear And Tinted Float Glass From Various Countries
Parameters For Regularizing The Provisional Authority To Import Resin Through The Warehousing Scheme Granted Pursuant To CAO 4-2008 A.
Executive Order No. 691, Temporarily Modifying The Rates Of Import Duty On Crude Petroleum Oils And Refined Petroleum Products Under Section 104 Of The TCCP Of 1978 (P.D. No. 1464), As Amended
Revised Rules And Regulations On Accreditation Of Importers
Abolition Of The Vehicle Importation Compliance Monitoring Unit (VICMU) And Creating For The Purpose, The Electronic Certificate Of Payment And Clearance Unit (ECPCU) Under The Office Of The Commisioner
Revision In The BOC Performance Management System Under CMOs 13-2008, 6-2008 And 31-2002
Executive Order No. 691, Temporarily Modifying Therates Of Import Duty On Crude Petroleum Oils And Refined Petroleum Products Under Section 104 Of The TCCP Of 1978 (P.D. No. 1464), As Amended
Safeguard Investigation No. 01-2007 Entitled: “In The Matter Of The Second Year Final Extension Of The Definitive General Safeguard Measure Against The Importation Of Ceramic Floor And Wall Tiles From Various Countries (AHTN Code Nos. 6907.1910, 6907.9090, 6908.9011, 6908.9021, 6908.9029, 6908.9090), Ceramic Tile Manufacturers’ Association, Petitioner”
Guidelines In The Allocation Of Revenue Collection Target And Submission Of Financial Reports
Provisional Safeguard Measures Against The Importation Of Steel Angle Bars From Various Countries.
Executive Order No. 691, Temporarily Modifying The Rates Of Import Duty On Crude Petroleum Oils And Refined Petroleum Products Under Section 104 Of The TCCP Of 1978 (P.D. No. 1464), As Amended
Revised Rules And Regulations On Accreditation Of Importers Thereby Amending Customs Memorandum Order No. 15-2009 Dated April 13, 2009
Guidelines In The Computation And/Or Determination Of The Fine Imposable On The Seized Goods And Redemption Value Of The Forfeited Goods For Settlement And Redemption Pursuant To Section 2307 Of The Tariff And Customs Code Of The Philippines, As Amended (TCCP)
Procedures For The Implementation Of e2m Customs System – Phase 3: Import Assessment System (IAS) In All Customs Ports Nationwide
Supplemental Provision To CMO No. 7-2009, Re: Electronic Transmission Of The Certificate Of Payment/Clearance (e-CPC) To The Land Transportation Office
Streamlining The Procedures For The Examination Of Shipments Apprehended By The Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group
Procedures For CPRS Accreditation Of CBWs And CY / CFS
Executive Order No. 691, Temporarily Modifying The Rates Of Import Duty On Crude Petroleum Oils And Refined Petroleum Products Under Section 104 Of
The TCCP Of 1978 (P.D. No. 1464), As Amended
Amendment To CMO No.27-2002, Rules, Regulations And Procedures In The Reporting And Monitoring Of Personnel Attendance And Applications For Leave Of Absence
Policies, Rules, Regulations And Procedures In The Disbursement Of Employee Payrolls
Transitory Procedures Prior To Full Implementation Of E2m Customs System For Informal Entries And Transshipment/Transit Declaration
Guidelines And Procedures For Government Agencies And Embassies; And For Companies With “&” Sign In Their Business Name.
Criteria for Eligibility

Friday, September 25, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

References for WTO Valuation

Agreement on Implementation of Article VII of GATT 1994 or the WTO Valuation System:


Here is my a report of mine on Sec. 201 of the TCCP: Basis of Dutiable Value

Hope these helps. ^_^

Friday, June 5, 2009

Why do people love shoes?

When it comes to shoes, there are just people who could not resist clicking the "Buy Now" button. It seems like more people buy or wants to buy shoes than any other things. This post is dedicated for shoe-crazy people. Please, do not become another Imelda Marcos.

Hope this helps =)

Footwear may range from sandals with upper consisting simply of adjustable laces or ribbons to thigh-boots (the uppers of which cover the leg and the thigh, and which may have straps, etc., for fastening the uppers to the waist for better support)

Examples of footwear:

1. Flat or high heeled shoes for ordinary indoor or outdoor wear.

2. Ankle-boots, half-boots, knee-boots and thigh boots.

3. Sandals of various types, "espadrilles" (shoes with canvas uppers and soles of plaited vegetable material), tennis shoes, jogging shoes, bathing slippers and other casual footwear.

4. Skating boots, ski-boots and cross country ski footwear, snowboard boots, wrestling boots, boxing boots and cycling and other special sports footwear which is designed for a sporting activity and has, or has provision for, the attachment of spikes, sprigs, stops, clips, bars or the like.

5. Dancing slippers

6. House footwear (e.g., bedroom slippers)

7. Footwear obtained in a single piece, particularly by moulding rubber or plastics by carving from a solid piece of wood.

8. Other footwear specially designed to protect against oil, grease, chemicals or cold.

9. Overshoes worn over other footwear; in some cases, they are heel-less.

10. Disposable footwear, with applied soles, generally designed to be used only once.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Game Consoles

Video Game Consoles and Video Game machines

H.S. Code: 9504.10.00
Examples: Famicom, Gameboy, Playstation, Nintendo Wii, Xbox, Playstaion Portable
MFN Rate: 5%
CEPT Rate: 0%

How will you classify an article under this code?

According to the Explanatory Notes of the Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System (HS):

Video game consoles and other electronic games which can be used with a television receiver, a video monitor or an automatic data processing machine monitor; video games having a self-contained screen, whether or not portable; audio visual games with electronic displays (including vertical models on legs) used in a home or game arcades, sometimes operated, for example, by coins, token, or credit cards.

Video game machines whose objective characteristics and principal function are such that they are intended for entertainment purposes (game-playing) remain classified in this heading, whether or not they fulfill the conditions of Note 5 (A) to chapter 84 regarding automatic data processing machines.

How about parts, accessories, and game peripherals?

According to Chapter 95 Note 3:

Subject to Note 1 above, parts and accessories which are suitable for use solely or principally with articles of this Chapter are to be classified with those articles.

However, optional peripherals which fulfill the conditions of Note 5(D) to Chapter 84 and which enable video game consoles to be connected to other systems, are excluded. Examples are memory cards, battery, external speakers, microphones, headsets, web cameras, digital cameras etc.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Clarificatory Guidelines for the Duty-free Importation of Books

The DOF are now in the hot seat and widely ridiculed by the blogging world for the issuance of its new policy on the importation of books. Last March 24, 2009, the DOF issued the Department Order 17-09 titled, "Clarificatory Guidelines for the Duty-free Importation of Books".

That is quickly followed by importation of books FAQ.

What does it says?

1. Only books that are educational, scientific and cultural materials listed in Annex A to E in the Florence Agreement and not for sale, barter or hire has 0% duty. The one who will determine and certify that the books falls under the Florence Agreement is UNESCO.

> When you purchase books or other materials online (must not be in commercial quantity), you must now need a certificate from UNESCO addressed to the DOF that the book you are importing is educational, scientific or cultural.

>ONLY IN THE PHILIPPINES!!! UNESCO is functioning as a regulating agency for the Philippine government. BTW, UNESCO is an NGO! Pero ok na din kaysa nmn ang BOC mag determine!

2. The economic, technical, vocational, scientific, philosophical and historical books that is not for sale, barter or hire which is duty and vat free as mentioned in Section 105(s) of the TCCP will need certification from DepEd or CHED.

> Yes! May bagong pagkakakitaan na naman ang DepED at CHED.

The duty and vat free imported books which can be sold, bartered or hired under RA 8047 are only those books solely used for book publishing. When our congress people wrote the law, the intention was to promote the book publishing industry daw.

>WTF?!! First of all why will somebody import books for book publishing? Parang sinabi nila na yung user's manual lang sa paggamit ng printing press at book binding ang duty at vat free.

4. Books are still vat free but you need clearance from DOF -.-". According to the DO:

The guidelines herein provided do not cover the treatment of imported books for Value-Added Tax (VAT) purposes as section 109(r) of the 1997 Tax Code, as amended, provides that the importaion of books is VAT-exempt, though applicant /importer still needs to secure DOF confirmatory-exemption clearance for this purpose.

5. If you import books that is for sale, barter or hire, then it is subject for duty. 1% for educational, scientific, cultural, economic, technical, vocational, philosophical, and historical books. 5% for other books.

> This one is really confusing. How will you say a book is not educational? Base on their definition:
Educational books - consisting essentially of textual matter of any kind, and printed in any language or characters. This includes textbooks including educational workbooks sometimes called writing books, with or without narrative textx, which contain question or exercises. Such books, with or without narrative texts, which contain questions or exercises. Such books may be bound (in paper or with soft or stiff covers) in one or more volumes, or may be in the form of printed sheets comprising the whole or a part of the complete work and designed for binding. Educational books are instructive and informative books; it relates to teaching and learning. Examples: Textbooks, workbooks, writing books for grade school, high school and college students and used as a basis for study in the academe.

From my point of view that according to their definition, all books are educational, even fictional books like Twilight. Heck, even tantric texts like Kama Sutra is educational.

If fictional books are not educational then why are we required in school to pass book reports.

Why do we even have a subject in college called world literature?

Honestly, what kind of brains does DOF people have? Why are we encouraged and sometimes required to read works like Tom Sawyer, Odyssey, Count of Monte Cristo, The Alchemist and many more. Maybe 'Twilight' is a special case because they think that books that contains mythological characters is not educational.

Also, it is not stated in the Florence Agreement that it should be books for personal use only that is duty and vat free

Book publishing industry? How about the retail stores? Aren't they a domestic industry also?

Tips for my fellow countrymen: say goodbye to Fully Booked and National Bookstore and say hello to amazon.com and barnesandnobleinc.com.