Bureau of Customs rolls out ‘National System’ for goods valuation

Rey Leonardo Guerrero

THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) has rolled out a computerized ‘National Valuation System’ to “ensure” the “correct valuation” of imported goods entering the country’s 15 collection districts.

“This system works as a method for determining and verifying the accurate value of a commodity. Under this system, the data is presented based on all aggregate importations of commodities per Harmonized System (HS) Code, specific description, and country of origin,” said Comm. Rey Leonardo Guerrero in a statement.

The NVVS is a web-based system which Assessment officers may access to verify whether the value declared by the importer is the price actually paid or payable for the goods when sold for export to the Philippines.

The basis of value verification is the previous importation, similar and identical goods at the same period of importation, and other methods of valuation available under Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The creation of the NVVS (National Value Verification System), according to sources familiar with the subject, has been one of the “priority projects” of Guerrero when he assumed the top customs post last October.

A group of knowledgable customs officials has been silently working behind the scene since last year to create the system prior to its ‘pilot-testing’ last April 8.

Aside from promoting transparency and ease of doing business, Guerrero added the system would also help address the issue of “benchmarking,” which has been a major source of corruption in the agency.

Under benchmarking, importers are assessed a specific amount of duties and taxes for the government per container in exchange for “grease money” or “tara” in waterfront parlance.

The creation of an NVVS has always been a “priority project” of past customs administrations under four Philippine presidents but it is only now, under Guerrero, that it has been finally accomplished.