President Marcos signs AO improving inspection of imported goods

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
President Marcos signs AO improving inspection of imported goods
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr
Bongbong Marcos / Facebook Page

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos has approved a single electronic invoicing system to expedite and improve the monitoring of all goods imported to the Philippines.

“A single electronic invoicing system controlled by the Philippine government is necessary to effectively monitor international trade transactions of all imported goods,” Marcos said in issuing Administrative Order 23.

The order seeks “to expedite the inspection of all imported goods entering the country and further strengthen national security, safeguard consumers’ rights, and protect the environment against sub-standard and dangerous imported goods.”

Signed on May 13 by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, the AO creates the Committee for Pre-border Technical Verification and Cross-border Electronic Invoicing, to be chaired by the finance secretary.

The secretaries of agriculture, trade, energy, health, environment and natural resources and information communications technology, meanwhile, will serve as committee members.

Other members include the Bureau of Customs (BOC) commissioner, director general of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and two non-voting representatives from duly recognized industry associations to be appointed by the chairperson upon recommendation of the committee.

The committee is tasked to formulate guidelines and implementing rules and regulations for the conduct of pre-border technical verification of all commodities by accredited testing, inspection and certification (TIC) companies prior to the export of these goods to the Philippines.

It is also mandated to formulate procedures for the procurement of cross-border electronic invoicing system, which will serve as the single electronic platform for the creation, uploading and storage of electronic invoices for imported commodities covered by a digital verification certificate from accredited TIC companies.

The conduct of pre-border technical verification and the procurement of cross-border electronic invoicing system “shall be at no cost to the Philippine government,” the order said.

The provisions of the order will be applied to all imported commodities in three phases: phase one for agricultural goods; phase two, non-agricultural goods with health and safety issues; and phase three, other goods with misdeclaration to avoid duties and taxes.

The BOC, as the primary government entity responsible for implementing customs procedures, is implementing the electronic invoicing system. BOC is an attached agency of the Department of Finance.

The electronic invoice is shared “transparently” and “in real time” with the BOC, the Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade and Industry and other relevant government agencies, the order said.

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