Customs bureau establishes a committee to address trade issues

Customs advisory council formed to address trade bottlenecks

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has recently announced the establishment of an advisory council aimed at addressing trade bottlenecks and enhancing trade facilitation among importers and business groups, amidst the changing global environment.

BOC Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio issued a memorandum order creating the Customs Industry Consultative and Advisory Council (CICAC) to facilitate regular consultations between the government and its stakeholders. The consultative body aims to address both existing and potential issues in the trade environment.

The move comes as the prices of commodities in the world market remain high due to elevated interest rates and supply woes, exacerbated by geopolitical tensions and export bans. The recent Red Sea crisis has also made shipping costs 15 percent more expensive, adding 10 days for the exchange of goods between Europe and Asia.

In light of these challenges, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development has warned of increasing disruptions in global trade due to geopolitical tensions and the impact of climate change on vital trade routes.

In response to these issues, Rubio stated that CICAC would conduct regular consultative meetings and dialogues to discuss trade environment trends and updates, apprise industry partners about Customs policies and programs, and address issues relating to implementation. The council will also assist in the development of Customs policies and delivery of services, as well as identify obstacles and bottlenecks in trade facilitation.

The newly formed council is chaired by Rubio, with members from BOC and various industry partners, including the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chamber of Customs Brokers Inc., and other key players in the import and export industry.

The agency plans to seek insights from a wide range of organizations, including the Philippine Retailers Association, Philippine Exporters Association, and the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines, among others.

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