Load port survey starts on June 1

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Friday, May 16, 2014


STARTING June 1, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) will require containerized and other non-containerized import cargoes to undergo a load port survey (LPS).

Currently, only bulk and break-bulk shipments undertake such a requirement.

The announcement was made by Customs Deputy Commissioner for Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group Atty. Agaton Teodoro Uvero in a presentation last week at the Transport Summit 2014 organized by the Philippine International Seafreight Forwarders Association and PortCalls at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza.

Customs Commissioner John Sevilla will sign the Customs Administrative Order (CAO) on LPS very soon.

A draft CAO earlier obtained by PortCalls requires all bulk, break-bulk, containerized, and non-containerized cargoes arriving and entering any port of entry in the Philippines to an LPS at the port of origin, unless otherwise exempt.

Uvero said the LPS requirement will mean advance and faster clearance for import shipments; exemption from physical examination or x-ray (except in certain instances); and cost savings on storage, demurrage, and import processing.

As for costs, Uvero noted the existing rule among accredited cargo surveyors (ACS) for bulk and break-bulk shipments states that "they cannot charge beyond ½ of 1 percent of the FOB [free on board] value."

There are currently five ACS for bulk and break-bulk shipments: Bureau Veritas, Cotecna, Inspectorate, Intertek, and SGS. They may also offer LPS service to shippers of containerized and non-containerized cargoes.

Under the draft CAO, the BOC will provide a "transitory period to establish the cargo clearance system together with the strict requirement for LPSR [load port survey report] on imported cargoes" – possibly from 30 to 60 days, Uvero said – during which no penalties would be imposed.

At the summit, the BOC executive also outlined other policies eyed by the bureau in the coming months.

He said the Super Green Lane (SGL) program will be expanded and streamlined to make it easier even for small and medium-sized enterprises to participate.

Right now, there are about 105 participants under the SGL program, mostly from the country's top 1,000 corporations. (PortCalls)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on May 16, 2014.

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