THE Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is warning the government against reinstalling preshipment inspection system (PSIS), saying this is another hurdle countering trade facilitation.
Alfredo M. Yao, president of the country’s largest business organization, is warning against the adverse economic effects and impact to businesses of the preshipment inspection proposed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC).
The PSIS is part of the reform agenda being instituted by the BOC in an effort to curb rampant smuggling plaguing the agency. The PCCI said that while the clearance system is intended toward trade facilitation, there are a number of issues that have to be satisfactorily addressed by the government first. Otherwise, the measure will be another burden to business.
“The proposed preshipment inspection system must not go against the goal of trade facilitation, which is to reduce associated cost and maximize efficiency while safeguarding legitimate regulatory objectives. By implementing this policy, are we just adding another layer to the already existing risk management and other clearance processes of customs? Who will bear the burden of the additional costs? Hopefully, it will not be us legitimate businesses,” Yao said.
Instead of the PSIS, the PCCI is suggesting that the BOC focus on fast-tracking efforts to modernize customs administration, and facilitate the movement of goods across borders.
Despite facing opposition from the Port Users Confederation, Customs Commissioner John Sevilla was earlier reported as saying the PSIS is beneficial, as it will protect port users from smuggling and will expedite clearance of goods.
Preshipment inspection is the hiring of private companies to check shipment details of goods ordered overseas. The process would require documentation or shipments at the port of origin and is said to be a method to plug misdeclaration and undervaluation.
Written by Catherine N. Pillas