PHLPost and Customs ink MOA to simplify examination and delivery of mail

From the Philippine Postal Corporation

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The Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC) inked a landmark Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that will make the process of clearing and delivery of parcels and other mail matters faster and simpler, benefitting thousands of consumers and Philippine residents who rely on the postal service to send and receive packages from abroad.

The MOA rationalizes and simplifies the joint operations and customs processes between PHLPost and BOC, superseding policies and procedures that have not been updated since 1973.

“This refinement in the processes will be beneficial to the common Filipino, the Filipino worker, and the Filipino family who receive gifts and buy items from abroad. The streamlined method will speed up the system with a centralized design in collecting duties and taxes so that items get released faster. It took painstaking efforts from the present administration of both PHLPost and BOC to synergize and institute significant reforms, but more than the profit, our ultimate goal is to serve the people, especially that the holiday season is coming,” said PHLPost Postmaster General and CEO Josie Dela Cruz.

Under the MOA, PHLPost and BOC shall centralize examination and assessment of customs duties for all parcels and mail matters at the Central Mail Exchange Center (CMEC) for those that arrived by air and at the Surface Mail Exchange Department (SMED) for those conveyed by sea. BOC will close down all other customs facilities and operations in other post offices and distribution centers nationwide and designates PHLPost as its authorized collecting agent.

Both agencies will adopt a system for screening, sorting, and inspection of all letters, parcels, and express mail items, including procedures for items tagged for further examination. BOC will ensure 24/7 manning of customs examination and assessment operations at both CMEC and SMED. The MOA further states a customs clearance time of 24 hours from arrival at CMEC or SMED for time-sensitive mail like the Express Mail Service, 48 hours for registered mail and small packets, and 72 hours for air parcels, and surface mail except for items tagged for further examination. PHLPost will set-up help desks to contact addressees of mail matters for tax dues based on Customs’ assessment, before delivery right at the doorstep of the claimant’s house.

All mail and parcels may be subject to customs examination, duties, taxes, and other fees. The agreement provides convenient, clear, simple, and transparent processes for the assessment, appraisal, and collection of customs duties and other import charges from letter posts, parcel posts, and express mail items.

The improvements to the inter-operability and regulations between the two agencies are also expected to attune the handling of mail matters with current market demands and service standard requirements of the Universal Postal Union and the World Customs Organization. It also augurs well for the country’s compliance with ASEAN integration incorporating borderless trade and economies.