23 August 2008

Subic, Clark harmonize customs procedures

The Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council (SCADC), Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), and the Bureau of Customs (BoC) signed the other day an agreement to harmonize customs systems and procedures in the free ports of Subic and Clark.

The agreement seeks to institutionalize partnership and cooperation between the parties to enhance the positioning and competitiveness of the two free port zones as a preferred international investment and tourist destination.

SCADC Chairman Edgardo Pamintuan, BoC Commissioner Napoleon Morales, SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza, and CDC President Benigno Ricafort signed the memorandum of agreement that also adopted the National Single Window (NSW) program in Clark and Subic.

The NSW is a system that enables a single submission and synchronous processing of data and information, resulting in a single point of decision for the release of cargoes by the BoC.

At the same time, the BoC, SBMA and CDC also put into effect a Joint Memorandum Order (JMO) on automated transit and admission declaration of cargo for Subic and Clark, which outlined the administrative and operational provisions for the automated cargo facility.

The event was witnessed by Trade Und
ersecretary Thomas Aquino, BoC-Subic Collector Marietta Zamoranos, Dir. Filas Chen of the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office (TECO), and some Taiwanese locators in Subic and Clark.

Pamintuan said the agreement put into realization the vision of esta
blishing an economic corridor to fully open trade linkages with Taiwan, particularly the Taiwan Export Processing Zone Authority.

He explained that the JMO intends to facilitate the conduct of business by providing, through the NSW program, a more efficient, less costly, and fully automated sy
stem for merchandise that are admitted, transited and transferred into and between the freeport zones.

“The MoA and JMO will be harmonizing the Immigration, Customs and Quarantine (ICQ) procedures and policies to facilitate a smooth and seamless transfer of goods and people from and to Subic and Clark, and the export processing zones in Taiwan,” Pamintuan said.

With the implementation of harmonized ICQ procedures, goods from Taiwan could be transshipped to Subic or Clark on real time — as envisioned by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Pamintuan further said.

For his part, Morales said t
he new system will also be “our way of fighting corruption” as BoC offices in Subic and Clark will no longer be accepting cash for payments, which shall now be done on-line with banks.

Arreza said meanwhile that Taiwanese investors in Subic “are very happy” with the signing of the agreement.

“Our locators, particularly the Taiwanese firms, believe that through the harmonized ICQ program in place, doing business in Subic and Clark will be truly at par with world-class standard,” Arreza said.

“Now, we will have an environment where investors can see that their goods are being handled on time and processed in a transparent manner,” he added. (SBM
A Corporate Communications)


SUBIC-CLARK HARMONY: Clark Development Corp. President Benigno Ricafort, Bureau of Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales, Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council Chairman Edgardo Pamintuan, and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Administrator Armand Arreza sign a memorandum of agreement to harmonize customs procedures in the free ports of Subic and Clark.