BOC simplifies procedure for passengers-A A +A
By Mia A. Aznar
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
TO simplify customs procedures for international airline passengers, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has stopped requiring those arriving on international flights to fill up customs declaration forms if they are only carrying duty-free goods.
The new rules took effect last April 16 following the issuance of Customs Administrative Order 02-2014 signed by Customs Commissioner John Sevilla last March 25.
The order will initially be implemented at the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and Ninoy Aquino International Airport, considered the busiest airports in the country.
Under the new order, inbound passengers will select one of two channels or lanes—red or green.
The green lane is for those with nothing to declare, which means they do not have items in their baggage that are subject to duties and taxes, can be brought in duty-free and are not subject to any import prohibition, regulation or restriction. Those in the green channel or lane will not be required to fill up a customs declaration form. The same rules will apply to the crew of international airlines and acknowledged members of the Diplomatic Corps, though the latter will continue to enjoy privileges previously accorded to them.
On the other hand, the red lane is for passengers who bring in goods that are subject to import duties or taxes, are above the exempted Customs limits, or are prohibited, controlled or regulated.
“Streamlined processes at international airports are part of the reforms we are undertaking at the Bureau. The dual-channel will help simplify our security and risk management protocols, shorten clearance procedures and reduce the long lines and waiting time for customs clearance,” Sevilla said in a statement.
Advisories on the new rules on customs declarations will be posted at the immigration counters at NAIA Terminals 1, 2 and 3 and the MCIA.
The NAIA falls under one of the 50 busiest airports in the world, with its international passenger traffic reaching 15.17 million on 87,629 flights last year.
On the other hand, the MCIA is the country’s second largest airport in terms of passenger traffic, as it offers direct flights to and from Asian cities in Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and South Korea.
Last year, the MCIA served 6.9 million domestic and international passengers on over 60,000 flights.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 24, 2014.