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Philippine Standard Time:
21 June 2024, 10:05 AM

BOC Spearheads the 1st Meeting of the National Time Release Study – Technical Working Group (NTRS-TWG) for Trade Facilitation

May 25, 2024

In line with the Philippines’ commitment to the World Trade Organization-Trade Facilitation Agreement (WTO-TFA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC), with support from the Philippine Trade Facilitation Committee (PTFC), conducted the 1st National Time Release Study – Technical Working Group (NTRS-TWG) Meeting on May 21, 2024, at the DOF Building, Manila.

The Meeting was presided by the Head of the NTRS-TWG, Atty. Geniefelle P. Lagmay, Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group-Port Operations Service (AOCG) Acting Director for the Port Operations Service (POS), assisted by the Secretariat from the BOC Time Release Study TWG.

It was attended by representatives from Trade Regulatory Government Agencies (TRGAs) and the private sector namely: Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP), Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB-DTI), Export Marketing Bureau (EMB-DTI), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-DA), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI -DA), Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority (FPA-DA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA-DOH), National Telecommunications Commission (NTC-DICT), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA -DOTC), Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ), Sugar Regulatory Administration (SRA-DA), Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB-PDEA), Optical Media Board (OMB), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA-DTI), Association of International Shipping Lines (AISL), Chamber of Customs Brokers Incorporated (CCBI), International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), and Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP).

The NTRS-TWG, under the PTFC, was created to conduct a NTRS to quantify cargo release time from arrival to out-of-charge for imports and from arrival to carrier departure for exports.

The NTRS will be conducted over a five-day period, covering the pre-customs, customs, and post-customs processing times of a shipment of goods. This includes the time required for processing permits, licenses, and/or clearances, as well as the time taken for the goods to exit the port terminal facilities. This collaborative effort will also involve other government agencies and private sector entities that issue permits or licenses, benefiting from the Time Release Study (TRS).

The BOC has annually conducted TRS in its ports since 2019 to identify supply chain bottlenecks affecting the release of imports and exports to formulate recommendations to mitigate such congestion.

During the meeting, the TRGAs and the private sector members mutually agreed to form their local TRS-TWGs. These TWGs would contribute to the study by indicating and clarifying steps, timestamps, processes, and data sources for each expected business process from the member agencies.

On the BOC’s side, a local TRS-TWG was already established under the leadership of Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio. The creation of the TWG is contained in Customs Memorandum Order No. 07-2024 dated April 22, and is in keeping with requirements of the WTO-FTA Article 7 6.1, which encourages member countries to measure and publish their average release time of goods periodically and in a consistent manner.

The BOC TRS-TWG is headed by the AOCG-POS Director as Chairperson, and the Internal Administration Group-Planning and Policy Research Division (IAG-PPRD) Chief as Co-Chairperson.

In addition, the BOC would establish its respective TRS-TWG in each Collection Districts to be headed by the District Collector as Chairperson.#

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