Only travelers or passengers with goods to declare shall be required to fill up and submit a Customs Baggage Declaration Form at the airport, according to the Bureau of Customs.
In a statement released by the bureau’s public information office on Wednesday, the agency said it has streamlined its baggage declaration procedures aim to facilitate ease and convenience for travelers using the country’s various international airports.
“The forms shall be made readily available during flights by the airline operators, who likewise commit to inform passengers while on board regarding the use of the CBDF. The CBDF forms are also available at the Customs Arrival Area,” the agency said.
“The bureau, in partnership with airline operators, shall regularly inform the public of all developments and issuances on baggage declaration, which are all aimed toward efficient public service,” it added.
On July 1, the agency started the reimposition of the policy at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport and prohibit international flight passengers from bringing materials advocating or inciting rebellion or sedition against the government, abortion paraphernalia and other anti-social goods, Philippine currency in the amount of more than P50,000 and foreign currency more than $10,000.
Those banned items would be forfeited in favor of the government while the importers or carriers can be prosecuted or penalized under the law.
Lawyer Ma. Lourdes Mangaoang, NAIA Customs Deputy Collector for Passenger Service, said earlier based on Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), and Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 1-2017, all (airline) passengers and crew members must accomplish a CBDF and submit it to a Customs Officer.
The CAO aimed to provide a simplified clearance procedure of different types of travelers; to adopt clear and transparent Customs rules, regulations, policies and procedures, consistent with international standards and Customs best practices, and strengthen border protection against anti-social goods.
The airport authority, during the time of then President Benigno Aquino III, stopped implementing the policy and the scanning of baggages, saying the system was one of the causes of passenger congestion at the arrival area, specially during peak hour period.
But now, according to Mangaoang, the bureau is bringing back the measure at the country’s premier gateway “pursuant to CMTA and CAO 1-2017 approved in March 2017 by the Secretary of Department of Finance and Customs Commissioner” to prevent the entry of contraband and other anti-social goods.