Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Customs, Subic adopt common gateway system

The Customs bureau and the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority have agreed to enforce a gate management system to prevent smuggling at the Subic Freeport.

Under the new system, which takes effect on July 15, cargo trucks going in and out of the free port will bear automated gate passes for easy identification, the agencies said.

No truck will be allowed to leave and bring out its cargo if it has not pais duties and taxes to the Customs or any port and wharfage charges to the Subic port authorities.

“There will be no place for smuggling or irregularity or inefficiency or lapses as far as the transfer of documents and shipments are concerned,” Customs deputy commissioner Alexander Arevalo said.
The cargo will be jointly examined by the representatives of SBMA and Customs in the presence of the importer. Both agencies will be liable in case of technical smuggling, officials said.

The system has already been pilot-tested with oil firm PTT Philippines and Microbase Transport and Equipment Inc. using the electronic gate passes.

The system is expected to remove an irritant between Customs and Subic following charges that oil products and second-hand vehicles are being squirreled into the country through the free port.

Early this year, Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales ordered a crackdown on blue plate cars that have been sold outside the free port.

Morales also created Task Force “Oplan Subic Blue Plates” to recover 184 motor vehicles that have been brought in by importers who exploit the loopholes in the law creating the Subic free port.

“Blue plates” are tax-exempt vehicles that enter the Port of Subic and can can be brought out of SBMA territory for official business but must be returned to the zone after 15 days. By Joel Zurbano - manilastandardtoday.com

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