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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Customs resets focus on easing transactions

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The Bureau of Customs will  give top priority to trade facilitation rather than revenue collections, which has not been reaching its targets for the past years.

Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon said that he would focus on simplifying and harmonizing trade procedures including import and export procedures to get rid of corruption that beset the agency. 

Faeldon is also proposing to cut the period of processing claims for shipments from five hours to five days by eliminating the duplication of permits as a requirement, and lessen the number of signatories on documents.

He  said  he  wants records of the bureau to be made transparent to the public and the media.

Revenue collections for  May 2016 fell short anew, amounting to only P22 billion, or short by almost P8 billion from its assigned collection goal  of P30 billion. 

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However, the new customs chief said that instead of setting collection targets based on the percentage of the gross domestic product, there will be performance indicators that “should contain grading on ease of doing business and facility of trade.” 

Normally, the inter-agency policy-making body Development Budget Coordination Committee assigns monthly and annual revenue collection targets for BoC.

The customs agency, however, has not been reaching its targets for the past years.

Meanwhile, duties and tax information can now be easily access by its customers through the use of mobile application to assist balikbayan, overseas Filipino workers and the public, the customs said. 

“The user-friendly application is designed to estimate the amount of customs duties and taxes of commonly sent items based on the declared value provided by the application user.  It also answers the public’s frequently asked questions on balikbayan box, parcels and other related matters,” the BoC said.

Customs encourages the public, not just balikbayan and OFWs, to download and try this mobile application so they would know the basics in importation and payment of duties and taxes.  

The Balikbayan Tax Calculator provides the app user a readily available means to get the estimate customs tax and duties of the articles or items they wish to bring in or send to the Philippines.

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