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Business

Exporters laud creation of customs consultative body

Catherine Talavera - The Philippine Star
Exporters laud creation of customs consultative body
This photo shows crates carried by a forklift in the port of Manila.
Philstar.com / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) has lauded the establishment of a consultative body composed of the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and its industry partners aimed at providing a forum for addressing issues and concerns related to customs and industry matters.

In a statement, Philexport president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said the Customs Industry Consultative and Advisory Council (CICAC) is a good venue for the active development of policies and programs that support trade facilitation and as a platform for addressing issues surrounding customs rules, projects and procedures.

The CICAC acts as a consultative body that will “address existing and potential issues related to customs and industry matters, promote mutual understanding and strengthen the harmonious relationship between the BOC and its industry partners.”

Among CICAC’s objectives is to establish an official forum for efficiently communicating rules and regulations and enhancing regulatory compliance.

It also seeks to improve BOC’s operational effectiveness by ensuring stakeholder needs are considered in the implementation of customs programs.

“CICAC also provides a platform for addressing and resolving issues raised by both the BOC and its industry partners to promote a more efficient conflict resolution system,” Philexport said.

The council shall be established in the central office and in all the collection districts. The central CICAC is to be chaired by the customs commissioner and composed of BOC officials from the central office and the heads or representatives of businesses and trade associations/organizations directly dealing with the BOC.

Among the industry partners are Philexport, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc., Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as the top 20 importing companies of the Philippines.

Also included are the Association of International Shipping Lines, Airline Operators Council, Philippine Retailers Association, Distilled Spirits Association of the Philippines, Common Bonded Warehouse Operators Inc. and the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines.

The BOC would also seek insights from the Philippine Chamber of Arrastre and Stevedoring Operators Inc., Port Users Confederation, Foreign Buyers Association of the Philippines, Federation of Philippine Industries, Philippine Association of Meat Processors and the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food Inc.

The CICAC will also establish a consultation mechanism before and after new policies are implemented to improve regulatory compliance and provide policy feedback. It is also expected to help identify obstacles and bottlenecks in trade facilitation.

The council is also tasked to promote awareness of the rights and responsibilities of both BOC and private stakeholders to ensure transparency, and to conduct regular consultative meetings on customs policies and programs as well as issues and concerns about their implementation.

Other CICAC functions include aiding in identification of customs procedures and methods that no longer align with modern business standards, recommending policies and solutions to prevent illicit activities by traders and customs employees, and participating in corruption risk analysis to strengthen the BOC’s and stakeholders’ codes of conduct.

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PHILIPPINE EXPORTERS CONFEDERATION INC.

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