Customs recovers post-clearance audit powers

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THE Bureau of Customs headquarters in Manila — BW FILE PHOTO

THE government has restored to the Bureau of Customs (BoC) the authority to conduct post-clearance audits, after the function was taken over by the Finance department in 2013.

In Executive Order (EO) No. 46, President Rodrigo R. Duterte ordered the return of audit authority to the BoC.

The Post-Entry Audit Group (PEAG), formed in 2003 through EO No. 160 under the direct supervision of the Customs commissioner, was authorized to audit, verify, and examine the records of goods.

In 2013, the functions of the PEAG were transferred to the Fiscal Intelligence Unit of the Department of Finance.

Following the return of the PEAG’s functions to the BoC, Mr. Duterte also changed its name to the Post Clearance Audit Group (PCAG).

PCAG will be headed by an Assistant Commissioner and shall exercise direct supervision and control in the management of the Trade Information and Risk Analysis Office and Compliance Assessment Office. Each office will be headed by a Customs official with a Director II rank.

“The PCAG is mandated to conduct, within three (3) years from the date of final payment of duties and taxes or customs clearance, an audit examination, inspection, verification, and investigation of records pertaining to any goods declaration,” the EO reads.

Goods need to be audited “for the purpose of ascertaining the correctness of the goods declaration and determining the liability of the importer for duties, taxes, and other charges, including any fine or penalty.” – Rosemarie A. Zamora