BOC uncovers 100 bogus importers in anti-smuggling drive
MANILA, Philippines—To combat smuggling, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) unmasked 100 dummies and revoked the accreditation of 264 erring Customs brokers and importers in the first half of 2022.
In a statement on Thursday (July 7), the BOC said its account management office physically inspected 1,693 importers from January to June, yielding 100 that were “found to be non-existent, which led to the denial of their application requests.”
The BOC said it inspects the facilities and offices of importers applying for accreditation “to ensure the legitimacy of their application and avoid dummy accounts that may be used for smuggling and illegal activities.”
As for accredited customs stakeholders, the BOC as of end-June revoked or suspended the licenses of 200 importers on top of 64 Customs brokers. “They were found to have violated provisions of Republic Act (RA) No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA),” the BOC explained.
“The revocation and suspension of accreditation is part of the [BOC’s] continuous monitoring and post-evaluation of importers and brokers,” it added.
In the first six months of this year, the BOC processed accreditation applications submitted by 6,580 regular importers, 185 non-regular importers, as well as 114 licensed customs brokers.
These applications had been submitted online via the BOC’s customer care portal. “The BOC continues to further automate its systems and processes to provide expedient service to the public while consistently implementing the no-contact policy in the agency.”
Last month, former finance secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero issued an administrative order to establish customer care centers at all ports of entry, in line with the zero-contact policy under the Ease of Doing Business Law.