In a move to keep its clients abreast of the changes in the import processes for exporters, the Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) held a webinar “Import Process for Exporters” on 27 October 2020 via Cisco Webex. The webinar featured speakers from the DTI-Bureau of Import Services (DTI-BIS) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and was attended by almost 200 participants.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, government agencies have implemented changes in their respective processes, mostly toward online-based transactions. Thus, this webinar aims to appraise exporters, would-be exporters, and customs brokers on the import processes and the corresponding documentary requirements,” said DTI Undersecretary Adbulgani Macatoman.

DTI-BIS Director Luis Catibayan gave an overview of importation and how the process differs for freely importable, prohibited, and regulated products. He advised exporters to visit the Philippine National Trade Repository via to check a product’s classification and the documentary requirements to import it. 

He shared that the DTI-BIS can help importers facilitate their shipments since they can coordinate with foreign trade attaches who, in turn, can solve conflicts from the supplier’s side. Catibayan encouraged importers to email for these concerns. 

BOC Evaluator Junichelle Hababag said that import accreditation applications are now online and can be accessed through Accreditations are valid for one year after the date of approval. She reminded applicants to prevent submitting multiple times for the same application since multiple tickets can cause delays.

Hababag said that the requirement and regulations are covered by three Customs Memorandum Orders (CMOs), namely CMO No. 11-2014 on guidelines and procedures for customs accreditation; CMO No. 31-2019 on the list of requirements for customs accreditation; and CMO No. 28-2018 on the processing of applications within seven (7) working days. 

Pearl Lyka Mohammad of the BOC Risk Management Office explained the selectivity lanes, particularly the new Orange Lane. The Green Lane is for low-risk shipment and just requires assessment. Medium-risk shipments and placed in the Yellow Lane and requires an additional document check. 

The Orange lane is for medium to high-risk shipments that will undergo non-intrusive x-rays and a physical examination if the image is found to be suspicious. Shipments placed in the Red Lane will undergo all these steps and a mandatory physical inspection. 

Meanwhile, Customs Operation Officer Salvador Seletaria, Jr. reminded that the Province of Origin (Box 26 of the Single Administrative Document) is now a mandatory field for export declarations. He said that the move aims to enhance the capability and effectiveness of the BOC in monitoring all exportation. She also said that businesses outside PEZA and non-BOI registered whose export receipts account for more than 70% of their gross sales can apply for DTI-EMB Accreditation under the Export Development Act. This qualifies them for a Zero-Rated VAT incentive in the purchase or raw materials and packaging supplies. For other details, please email and for other export concerns, at ♦

Date of release: 30 October 2020