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31 May 2024, 05:25 AM

Customs Tightens Rules on Release of Imported Vehicles

April 5, 2011

A new requirement has been added to the layers of regulatory measures being implemented by the Bureau of Customs to prevent the entry of illegally imported motor vehicles into the country.

Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez said imported vehicles would no longer be released from customs zones unless these were covered by a “Clearance of No Derogatory Information” (CONDI) issued by the newly-created Motor Vehicle Monitoring and Clearance Office (MVMCO) under the office of the Enforcement and Security Service.

Alvarez said the new requirement “applies to all imported motor vehicles including motorcycles and motor scooters that are either personally-owned or brought in for personal use under the No-Dollar Importation Program; imported by tax-exempt persons or entities under various laws and subsequently sold to non-tax exempt persons or entities; and, those that are pre-owned, regardless of whether they are declared under consumption or warehousing entries.”

Also covered are used imported parts and components declared as replacement parts or intended for use by local assemblers or those engaged in vehicle rebuilding business.

Unlike before where the payment by the importer of the final tax assessment by the customs examiner/appraiser would suffice, the new regulations now require that all motor vehicle import entries shall be endorsed to the MVMCO for issuance of CONDI.

According to Alvarez, the creation of the MVMCO and the imposition of the CONDI requirement was meant to ensure that only legally-imported vehicles or those coming from legitimate sources could enter the country.

The customs chief added: “Aside from protecting the revenue interest of the government, the creation of the MVMCO will also pave the way for the removal of the Philippines from the list of countries being used as dumping grounds for motor vehicles stolen by international crime syndicates.”

The MVMCO is being administered by the Customs Director for Enforcement and Security Service Nestorio Gualberto and Deputy Commissioner Horacio Suansing of the Enforcement and Security Service.

Alvarez instructed ESS Director Nestorio Gualberto to immediately cultivate a working relationship with the INTERPOL and other international intelligence groups to facilitate the exchange of information on the movement of stolen motor vehicles.

Gualberto said the MVMCO had been entrusted with the following functions and responsibilities: recommend the issuance of Alert/Hold orders against imported vehicles with derogatory information; witness the conduct of spot check/examination of motor vehicles on hold or under alert status; conduct surveillance, seizure and apprehension of imported vehicles illegally released from Customs and those that were either found with deficiency in payments or sold/transferred to non-tax exempt persons without payment of duties and taxes and maintain a data base of all motor vehicle importations processed by the BOC.

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