Former Customs chief seeks revival of inspection scheme

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    A former customs official said the revival of the pre-shipment inspection would finally eliminate graft and corruption at the Bureau of Customs and at the same time decongest the country’s ports.

    Titus Villanueva, retired former customs chief, in a statement said with the scheme, shipments of big and legitimate importers should no longer pass through customs for examination and evaluation.

    Only the filing of import entry for payment of duties and taxes should pass through BOC. Their shipments should be delivered directly to the importers from the port without passing Customs.

    This practice, he said, is being done in Singapore.

    From 1991 to 2000, Swiss firm Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS) used to conduct the pre-shipment inspection of all exports to the Philippines from the port of origin.

    But the contract with SGS was terminated and BOC then adopted the system of accrediting big and legitimate importers.

    Shipments of accredited importers would no longer be examined nor evaluated by Customs.

    But delay in the release of their shipments continued despite this measure.

    Villanueva’s second proposal is that only shipments of the remaining importers should pass the BOC for normal processing.

    The implementation of these two proposals would decongest the ports and will reduce graft and corruption to a great extent .

    “Good environment for the import and export businesses will result in more investments and eventually more Customs revenue,” Villanueva said.

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