Terms on ecozone firms’ importation eased
The Department of Finance has ordered the exemption of economic zone locators from securing the certification needed for them to bring in raw materials and other equipment from abroad.
Under Department Order (DO) No. 107-2014 issued by Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima on Nov. 28, “all locators of Peza (Philippine Economic Zone Authority) special economic zones throughout the Philippines… are exempted from the requirements of DO 12-2014… and shall be eligible for accreditation as importers with the Bureau of Customs Account Management Office.”
Last February, the DOF issued DO 12-2014, which required all importers to secure an Importer Clearance Certificate (ICC) from the Bureau of Internal Revenue.
The ICC is an instrument used by the DOF to map the taxes and duties being paid by importing firms.
The DOF said DO 107-2014 was aimed at “promoting trade facilitation in a secured manner and ensuring the attainment of an effective and efficient customs management.”
It should be noted that foreign business chambers have been lamenting the slow release of ICCs, which had delayed import activities.
A truck ban implemented in Manila from February to September this year aggravated the congestion problem at the ports in Manila, where the bulk of the raw material inputs and finished products of exporters operating within Peza zones is shipped in and out of the country.
To ensure that only Peza locators enjoy this perk, the DOF said the BOC could request from the investment promotion agency (IPA) a certified list of registered firms.
“The BOC may still require the submission of documents and information about Peza locators prior to granting accreditation. Whenever possible, the BOC shall obtain the documents and information it needs about Peza locators from documents and information already in the possession of Peza,” the DOF said in the order.
The DOF stressed that “Peza locators that will import goods into the Philippines will have to comply with the documentary requirements provided in the relevant rules of procedure of customs,” or they could face penalties and sanctions under the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines.
Peza is one of the country’s leading IPAs that dangle tax and other incentives to mostly foreign investors. Most of the companies allowed to operate within the country’s economic zones are into export-manufacturing.
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