Philippines: PCCI seeks suspension of fee for customs x-ray

May. 28, 2007

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) is seeking the deferment of Customs Administrative Order (CAO) 4-2007, which implements the collection of container security fees for the use of x-ray machines at the Bureau of Customs.

In its letter to President Arroyo, PCCI has requested for the suspension of the CAOs implementation pending review and re-computation of fees charged by BOC to importers and port users.

Samie Lim, PCCI president, noted that, while the business community is generally pleased with the various programs initiated by government to curb smuggling and better facilitate the inspection and clearing of imported cargoes, the fees being charged to the users are inconsistent with governments drive to lower transaction and business costs related to trade facilitation.

PCCI cited that the fees being charged, for instance, at US$ 25 and US$ 50 for 20 and 40-footer containers respectively, are unreasonable. PCCI said that the fees must be based on the actual cost of the machines, term of loan payment and other miscellaneous cost related to its installation.

Lim stressed that the value of installing the x-ray machines should be seen as a means to better facilitate and increase trade volumes and transactions in the country that will eventually result in the increase in revenue collections by the BOC.

Obtaining support from its affiliates such as the Port Users Confederation (PUC) Inc. and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lim said, while we subscribe to the idea of having to bear additional costs that will eventually translate to meaningful gains for businesses and industries, we believe that such costs must be accompanied with a reasonable determination of fees not necessarily premised on revenue generation.

PCCI is a non-stock, non profit organization comprised of 1,200 direct members, 98 local chambers, 122 industry associations, and 30 foreign business councils, all working together for more vibrant Philippine economy, and to improve the viability of businesses in the country.

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