At BOC, no-contact policy aimed at virus causing COVID-19 and graft, too
With or without COVID-19, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has ordered “zero contact” in its assessment offices to stem graft and corruption.
Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 8-2020 issued by Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero on March 11 contained the guidelines of the BOC’s zero contact policy.
It also implements the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018 aimed at making it easier to transact with government agencies.
The new rules will take effect on March 23 as Luzon grapples with travel and other restrictions under a quarantine environment to stop COVID-19.
On Wednesday (March 18), Guerrero reported to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III that the BOC remained “operational in central office and all ports.”
“Our online transaction system is also working. There is no work stoppage in the BOC,” Guerrero told Dominguez.
The no-contact policy covers all with transactions in the BOC—Customs brokers and representatives, importers and others.
These clients usually transact with the BOC assessment offices for processing of declared goods.
The policy would not only reduce face-to-face transactions but also encourage online interaction for declaration of goods and submission of supporting documents.
Declaring goods and submitting supporting documents must be filed in hard and electronic formats but submission of hard copies would be limited to customer care centers to be set up at all ports.
Soft copies should be e-mailed to BOC’s customer care portal or saved in USB flash drives for submission along with hard copies.
Checking and evaluation of documents, tracking of clients and checking of shipment status would be done mostly online.
In cases where personal appearance is needed, BOC officers and clients must first secure appointment tickets online if they wanted access to the assessment area.
Edited by TSB
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