By Jovic Yee, February 26 2019; Philippine Daily Inquirer

Image Credit to Business World

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero suspended indefinitely his order requiring truckers to register with the Bureau of Customs, pending talks with groups that had expressed concern that the process might impede the movement of goods in ports nationwide.

In an order issued Feb. 4, Guerrero suspended “until further notice” the implementation of Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 05-2019, or the rules and regulations on the registration of truckers, to give way to the discussion of concerns which he said were “not considered in the crafting” of the policy.

“Notwithstanding the publication of the approved CMO, there is a need to conduct further consultations with the concerned stakeholders in order to fully address the other related concerns,” Guerrero said.

Under the Feb. 4 order, all truckers were required to register with the bureau’s client profile registration system before they would be allowed to transport imported goods. Apart from the P5,000 registration fee, a general transportation security of P50,000 was also required from truckers.

The registration of truckers, which will be valid for three years, aims to gather information on them for the “establishment of a database for risk management and enforcement,” as well as to identify those authorized to transact with the bureau, among others.

In a letter sent to Guerrero, the Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc. (CBBI) appealed that the implementation of the order be deferred since it “did not undergo the usual public and government consultation.”

“[I]mplementation of this [order] might affect trade facilitation and impede the movement of goods and containers from the ports,” CBBI national president Ferdinand Nague said. /atm