Export group seeks repeal of directives

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014


WHILE local exporters lauded government efforts to put a stop to smuggling, the umbrella organization of Cebu exporters is appealing to government agencies to review its recent directives while they curb illegal operations.

“Export targets are attainable if there is an enabling business environment that will facilitate export trade. However, there are new regulations by government agencies that are disabling, onerous and could be detrimental to free trade and ease of doing business,” said Confederation of Philippine Exporters Foundation (Philexport Cebu) executive director Fred Escalona yesterday.

Export growth

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Overall exports are expected to reach $101.3 billion in 2016. Trade Undersecretary Ponciano Manalo Jr. expects export revenues to grow at least 10 percent in the next three years.

The group, which represents 10 export sectors in Central Visayas appealed for the removal of all redundant requirements for importers, who are already exporters under the Bureau of Custom’s (BOC) Client Profile Registration System, and for the devolution of the filing of importer accreditation to the regional or district offices of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) instead of the BIR’s Account Receivable Monitoring Division (ARMD) which is based in Manila, to avoid delays, additional costs and inconvenience to exporters and importers.

The Department of Finance recently required importers to first go through the BIR review before they can secure permits from the BOC.

Memorandum orders

The DOF issued Department Order No. 12-2014 last February, which requires importers to hurdle BIR accreditation before they can snag the importer clearance certificate (BIR-ICC).

Pursuant to the DOF order, the BIR and BOC issued subsequent orders with their own requirements.

In a three-page position paper, Philexport Cebu, said there are provisions that the industry finds “onerous, inefficient and impractical”, referring to the section of the BIR’s Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) 10-2014 requiring applications for the accreditation be filed directly and by personal appearance to the ARMD.

Red tape

The order also cited 35 documentary requirements for importers (corporation or individual), custom brokers and cooperatives, while the BOC requires 15. But unlike BIR, the BOC has devolved the filing for accreditation to the district port collectors, the statement said.

The organization explained that there are exporters who also import raw materials from abroad and that there are some who have been operating their own customs-bonded warehouses, which classify them as importers.

“The RMO requirement would definitely add red tape where there was none before as a custom bonded operator, “ said Philexport Cebu.

It added that exporters have been mandated to apply for their CPRS accreditation as an exporter, submitting “particularly the same documents” prescribed under memorandum orders of the BIR and BOC.

“There are a lot of redundancies in both directives of the BIR and the BOC, not to mention, the extra layers of bureaucracy that will cause delays, additional costs, and convenience to exporters/importers,” it added.

The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry has declared its support for the position of Philexport Cebu in a resolution, which will be submitted to the Office of the President, Philippine Senate, House of Representatives and the DOF.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 07, 2014.

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