The Bureau of Customs Project Team for Strengthened Trade Facilitation Capacity Building convened a two-day validation session with ARISE Plus Philippines and the International Trade Center (ITC) Team on 2-3 December 2021. These sessions studied the Operational Framework and Practices of the Bureau of Customs in three (3) priority trade facilitation areas namely Integrated Risk Management (IRM), Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Program, and e-Commerce.
The first day of the validation session focused on the existing BOC Risk Management Framework, how it can be enhanced to ensure compliance with the World Trade Organization-Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO-TFA) commitment on Risk Management. Jemky Flor Sacar, Chief of the Risk Management Office (RMO) led the discussions on how to improve the traditional risk and governance strategies to a program that integrates end-to-end cargo clearance with full visibility and seamless interagency sharing of risk activities with Trade Regulatory Government Agencies (TRGAs). Further, the ongoing development of the data warehousing system, its functionality matrix for BOC units, linking service charter policy with risk targeting parameters, and guidance on how to perform data analytics for informed decision.
During the e-commerce validation session, Atty. Julito Doria, who is the Vice-Chair of the BOC Project Team, supported the review of e-Commerce clearance mechanisms by identifying the barriers on the timely delivery, treatment, and availability of documentary requisites associated with cross-border e-Commerce. The sessions also provided valuable insights on the importance of capturing pertinent data to identify legitimate de minimis transactions under expedited clearance procedures, including embracing robust data warehousing system and effective risk management for a resilient and sustainable supply chain.
Lastly, the Interim AEO Office headed by BOC Legal Service Director Atty. Maria Yasmin Obillos Mapa joined the validation session to share their views on how to strengthen the implementation of the AEO Program in the Bureau of Customs. Three (3) core strategies were identified during the session namely a) development of a proposed Trader’s Compliance Scorecard (TCS), b) development of an AEO Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Program, and c) the modification of the AEO self-assessment questionnaire by making it simpler and easier to submit supporting materials.
The validation sessions serve as a starting point to support the readiness of the BOC in complying with its international trade facilitation commitments and address new or evolving requirements. The 2nd phase of the activity will engage the ITC team (Ms. Maria Esperanza Alconcel, Mr. Dennis C. Pantastico, and Ms. Theresita Eisma) to dialogue with the TRGAs and MSMEs in understanding better their awareness level, role dynamics and processes that affect their ability to cooperate properly.