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26 May 2024, 00:42 AM

Customs Rewards Ethical Importers With Upgraded Super Green Lane Privileges

April 30, 2010

The Bureau of Customs has found a way to reward importers who adhere to ethical business practices.

The incentive comes in the form of exclusive access to priority, hassle-free customs clearance lanes called Super Green Lane Plus (SGL+).

Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez said the SGL+ was one of the major ideas he picked up during a recent study trip to Indonesia which was arranged by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima for the purpose of identifying trade facilitation best practices that are suitable to the Philippine setting and condition.

Launched yesterday (December 29), the SGL+ is an improved version of BOC’s Super Green Lane experiment the benefits of which have been enjoyed by a number of industry players since 2003.

“What makes it different and better”, disclosed Alvarez, “are its two complementary features, namely, the expansion of privileges accorded to the project adopters and the establishment of an Association whose membership is limited to port users who have earned the right to be classified as first among equals.”

SGL + is a customs facility that assures qualified importers with simplified, prompt and efficient customs clearance process.

Alvarez said World Bank Officers headed by Sri Mulyani Indrawati indicated their willingness to make the project happen.

Aside from enjoying a shorter lead time in customs clearance processing, exemption from document and physical examination of regular importation and pre- clearance process available, SGL+ association members are given a three-year exemption on customs post-entry audit, a five-year customs accreditation and the privilege to import articles not included in their list of regular importations.

Alvarez said “they (SGL+ Association members) are also exempt from the customs Selectivity System and in cases where physical examination of their imported goods become imperative, the same may be conducted at the importer’s premises.

Alvarez said the SGL+ Association which was formed yesterday (December 29) “now has 32 member companies which were given automatic membership because of their excellent records of transactions with the Bureau of Customs. These companies include: Nestle Phils., Jollibee Foods Corp. Ford Group, Yamaha Motors ., JVC Phils, SUZUKI Phils, Procter & Gamble, Sanofi-Aventis Phils., Abott Laboratories & Smart Inc.

The customs chief clarified, however, that SGL + is an application-based facility which means that those who would like to avail themselves of its benefits must apply with the Association, which in turn will handle a thorough evaluation of the application, after which, the Association will make a formal recommendation to the Bureau of Customs. The applicant must satisfy the following basic requirements: good reputation based on verifiable track records, engagement in a specific business and non-involvement in illegal and irregular transactions.

He added that the SGL+Association would be run by a seven-man board whose members were elected yesterday. The board members who would select from among themselves a chairman during their next meeting early next year will come from the ranks of the following companies: Avon Phil., Kraft Phils, Globe Telecoms, IBM, Texas Instruments, Epson, Mc Donalds (Golden Arches).

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