Solon wants stronger Customs law to avert agri smuggling

11 March 2021 – MANILA

A party-list lawmaker on Thursday pushed for the passage of a measure seeking to amend the Customs Modernization and Tariffication Act (CMTA) to help avert agricultural smuggling and improve trade facilitation.

AAMBIS-OWA Party-list Rep. Sharon Garin said amendments to the CMTA are necessary to further improve the country’s international standing, wherein its institutional arrangement and cooperation rating plateaued at 55.56 percent from 2017 to 2019.

The bill is set to improve trade facilitation and assist the government in revenue collection.

It also contains provisions on the simplification and clear definition of some processes in the customs clearance of imported goods.

It also proposes stricter administrative sanctions, specifically on the supervision and regulation of third parties to curb corruption and improve the efficiency of the Bureau of Customs (BOC).

Garin expressed alarm over the staggering discrepancies between declared importations of trade partners and the records held by the BOC.

She said it was necessary to review and streamline the procedure of importation of agricultural products through enhanced coordination with the bureau.

Garin said the bill is in line with the efforts of the House of Representatives to create a conducive business environment that would attract foreign direct investments and aid the country’s economic recovery. (PNA)

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