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BOC heads digital invoice system for imported commodities

TLDR: The Bureau of Customs (BOC) will be leading the rollout for an implementation on digital invoices for imported commodities. This new policy will go through phases to be completed in two (2) years.

The Philippine government issued Administrative Order No. 23 Series 2024. This denotes a rollout of a digital integrated system for electronic invoicing for all imported commodities.

Under the order, a committee for Pre-Border Technical Verification and Cross-Border Electronic Invoicing will be formed. This is to be headed by the finance secretary, and shall convene at least once per quarter.

The committee will be responsible for formulating guidelines while implementing rules and regulations for the conduct of Pre-Border Technical Verification of all commodities by accredited Testing, Inspection, and Certification (TIC) Companies prior to exporting to the Philippines.

In addition, the committee will also establish procedures for the procurement of a Cross-Border Electronic Invoicing System. This will be the platform for the creation, uploading, and storage of electronic invoices for imports covered by a digital verification certificate from TIC companies.

The order also noted that guidelines will be issued for the accreditation of third-party TIC firms. The committee should ensure the mechanism for accreditation should be competitive, transparent, and in accordance with international trade standards and existing laws.

The panel will also submit a bi-annual report to the President about their status, timelines, targets, and accomplishments.

The BOC will be primarily responsible for implementing the electronic invoicing system. This will go through in three phases, starting with agricultural goods, non-agricultural goods with health and safety issues, and other goods with misdeclaration to avoid duties and taxes.

The order was signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin on May 13 and uploaded to the Official Gazette on May 19.

As per the order, the committee shall set timelines and targets for the implementation phases. Consequently, the Pre-Border Technical Verification and Cross-Border Electronic Invoicing System will work towards its full implementation within two years from effectivity.

Initial funding for the policy will be charged against the available appropriations of the BOC and committee-involved agencies.

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