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Exporters oppose pre-inspection system

The Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. said Monday the government’s plan to revive the pre-inspection system for Philippine-bound cargoes will result in unnecessary import costs and more delays in shipments.

PhilExport president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. raised the concern, as the government plans to revive the PIS and its inclusion in the proposed Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The government said the pre-inspection system would speed up the delivery of shipments, with the elimination of x-ray and other inspections at the port of destination and implementing the inspection at the port of loading, instead.

“In the context of the ports in Manila, the disadvantage multiplies, in that importers will also have to suffer from delays and extra costs due to traffic, demurrage and trucking,” Ortis-Luis said.

Ortiz-Luis said the cost of PIS should not be more than that of the x-ray inspection fee, which would be replaced by the new system.

He said the PIS was no longer being used in developed countries and was applied only in less developing countries.

“This gives us a signal that this is no longer best practice and casts doubts on the willingness of our country-suppliers to install the facilities and equipment to handle our requirement for PIS,” he said.

Ortiz-Luis said the PIS policy could be implemented on a voluntary basis, “as the importer sees it fit for his operations and competitiveness.”

Meanwhile, the Port Users Confederation Inc. said the proposed program on PSI was a revenue or tax measure without legislative authorization.

“The penalties imposable are not authorized by any statute. The exemption lists violate the equal protection clause,” it said.

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry also warned about the adverse economic effects of the  proposed procedure. 

PCCI said there was a need to ascertain the capability, data handling and integrity of the service providers, efficient coordination between customs and the service provider, dispute  mechanism, and minimal costs.

“This has to be carefully studied. There are many gray areas in the proposed system.   Otherwise, the measure will be another burden to business,” said PCCI president Alfredo Yao.

Topics: PhilExport , export

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