Yasser Abbas, BOC-IAS director, said the NVVS was designed “in-house” by the BOC’s own ICT-savvy officers as it seeks to combat smuggling or what the World Customs Organization terms as trade mis-invoicing.
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Customs steps up drive vs ‘trade mis-invoicing’
Rainier Allan Ronda (The Philippine Star) - July 21, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs is tapping the so-called Big Data Analytics and information communications technology to combat “trade mis-invoicing” or smuggling.

Through its Import Assessment Service (IAS), BOC has successfully designed and set up the web-based National Value Verification System (NVVS) platform to set average valuations of products and commodities that are imported into the country, and help appraisers and examiners set the correct tariff on inbound shipments.

Yasser Abbas, BOC-IAS director, said the NVVS was designed “in-house” by the BOC’s own ICT-savvy officers as it seeks to combat smuggling or what the World Customs Organization terms as trade mis-invoicing.

Abbas told The STAR that the WCO was still studying the use of Big Data Analytics to combat trade mis-invoicing.

“To combat trade mis-invoicing or fake or false declarations and undervaluations, one of the strategic plans of the WCO is to create an online price reference system, an online database where you can see the value of a certain commodity which we have already created,” Abbas said.

Abbas said the NVVS has been launched about three weeks ago.

The NVVS, he said, has in its database the volume weighted averages of more than 31,000 commodities and branded products from which BOC district appraisers and examiners can verify and ascertain if the declared customs value accurately represents the total amount actually paid or payable for the importer of a shipment of goods.

Abbas said that this values set in the NVVS are all “uniform.”

This he said, is expected to effectively rid the problem of “port shopping” by importers due to the practice of district collectors to attract shippers to their district ports with “lower prices” or lower values and hence, lower revenues for the government.

“We have leveled the playing field,” Abbas said.

“When the marketing of our collectors is on the basis of lower prices, it’s the government that will take the hit. That’s why we have prohibited this, and with the NVVS, we will put a stop to this,” Abbas said.

“If they will market their ports, it should be on the basis of trade facilitation, on their services, but they should not market (promote) based on lower prices,” Abbas said.

Abbas said that the NVVS platform was interfaced into the BOC “OComm Dashboard” program, the Big Data Analytics platform of the BOC Office of the Commissioner (OComm), which allows the top level management to monitor 24/7 and in real-time, the NVVS transactions that are taking place in the field, or all the BOC’s 17 district ports.

“’We can see everything through the OComm Dashboard,” Abbas said. “Everything is online. Everything is provided to the Commissioner as well as to all our district collectors,” Abbas said.

“These are all the data that we need to maximize our efficiencies,” he pointed out.

BUREAU OF CUSTOMS SMUGGLING
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