Former BOC chief reiterates call for reforms in CMTA
(The Philippine Star) - January 10, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - As the Senate rolls up its sleeves to debate and finally pass the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), former Customs chief Titus Villanueva reiterates his ap- peal to the senators to con- sider his proposal which include among other things the delivery of shipment from the pier direct to the consignee’s warehouses as far as big and legitimate importers are concerned which he calls the green lane pass and secondly, the revival of the pre-shipment inspection (PSI) scheme.

The present practice at Customs is to require all shipments of all importers to undergo the standard import processing procedures-causing delay in the release of shipment even for big and legitimate importers.

To facilitate release of shipments, most importers have to fork out bribe or ``facilitation’’ money.

Another proposal of Villanueva is the revival of the pre-shipment inspection (PSI) scheme where shipments of so-called illegitimate importers with no good track record and who have been found violating Customs laws and procedures in the past — will be subject to physical examination at the port of entry to avoid technical smuggling such as misdeclaration and undervaluation.

Villanueva said any glob- al standardization must be suited to fit the country. In the case of the Philippines, as a developing economy and a net importer of goods, the government needs to collect all the right taxes and duties with Customs as its revenue-generating agency. He also suggests that employees of Customs be given, if possible, higher salaries than BSP employees as an antidote for corruption.

Villanueva was chair- man of the 9th Meeting of the Asean Directors-General and Commissioners of Customs in 2001 and chairman of the 1996 Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) on Customs procedures. He was vice-chairman of the Asean Customs study tour on simplification and harmonization of Customs procedures.

ACIRC AS THE SENATE ASEAN CUSTOMS ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION CUSTOMS CUSTOMS MODERNIZATION AND TARIFF ACT IMPORTERS MEETING OF THE ASEAN DIRECTORS-GENERAL AND COMMISSIONERS OF CUSTOMS PROCEDURES TITUS VILLANUEVA VILLANUEVA
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