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The Government of Philippines implemented the law requiring all imported bulk and break bulk cargo to be surveyed by an accredited surveying company at the port of origin. On March 12, 2010 SGS has been accredited by the Committee for the Accreditation of Cargo Surveying Companies (CACSC) of Philippines to conduct the required survey.

As a surveying company possessing the duly approved accreditation SGS will determine the correct dutiable weight, quantity, description of goods in tariff terms, and/or cargo make or quality. The commodities covered are: liquids, chemicals, petroleum products, dry cargos, wood, steel and other cargo shipped in bulk or break-bulk.

The program was first announced to the public on the 16th September 2009 through issuance of the Administrative Order No. 243-A. The program is at the same time a risk management and a trade facilitation tool.

SGS already issues survey reports on behalf of its commercial clients shipping bulk and break bulk cargoes to the Philippines, especially oil, petroleum products, chemicals, minerals and agricultural goods with the surveys paid for either by the buyer or seller. “What is different about the new program is that the Bureau of Customs of Philippines will now be able to receive such information in a secure electronic format directly from SGS prior to the arrival of the goods in the Philippines” said George Bottomley, SGS Vice President.

The new program is unique and is the first time that any Customs oragnization has had the vision to utilize commercial survey reports for advance cargo clearance. “This development is very timely as we all hope that this year the Philippines will be the third member of ASEAN to accede to the Revised Kyoto Convention which emphasizes trade facilitation and simplicity in Customs procedures. This new program is a model of what is expected under the Convention as it will enable the payment of duties and taxes in advance, thereby reducing the cycle time in the Customs entry and release process. With this program Philippines will be able to immediately demonstrate its commitment to the principles of the Convention” Bottomley explained.

The advance clearance system for bulk and break bulk cargoes is required in accordance with the objectives of the World Customs Organization International Convention of the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures, otherwise known as the Revised Kyoto Convention.

The SGS Group is the global leader and innovator in inspection, verification, testing and certification services. Founded in 1878, SGS is recognized as the global benchmark in quality and integrity. With 59,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,000 offices and laboratories around the world.