BIR slashes requirements for importers and brokers clearance certificates, orders issuance of ICC/BCC within five days

The shift to a largely service-oriented and client-friendly tax agency is slowly but surely taking a human face as the BIR slashed by at least two thirds the number of documentary requirements, as well as the processing time, of applications for the issuance of clearance certificates for importers and brokers with the issuance of Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) No. 56-2016.

The said Order streamlines the requirements and the process in the issuance of BIR Importers Clearance Certificates (BIR-ICC) and the BIR Customs Brokers Clearance Certificates (BIR-BCC) thereby ensuring that importers and brokers secure their clearance certificates early enough to ply their trade without too much disruption and sans the consequential heavy costs arising from the protracted release of the certificates.

Importers, both individual and non-individuals (corporations and the like), are now required to submit just six (6) documentary requirements. Previously individual importers were required to submit eighteen (18) documents before their applications can be processed while non-individual importers were asked to submit twenty-four (24).

On the other hand, individual and non-individual brokers are now were required to submit merely seven (7) documents, down from the twenty-five (25) previously required under previous issuances.

For both importers and brokers, they are still required to submit Annex "C" which is a Certification from the Collection Division of outstanding delinquent accounts of the applicant.

Applications for both importer and broker clearance certificates shall be processed and released within five (5) working days from the submission of the complete documents. The applicants must, however, satisfy the BIR's processing criteria, to wit: 1. Compliant in the payment of the Annual Registration Fee, in bookkeeping and invoicing requirements, and in the submission of Annual Information Returns; 2. No valid open stop-filer cases; 3. A regular user of the BIR's Electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS); 4. No delinquent Account; and 5. Not tagged as a "Cannot Be located" taxpayer.

Applicants with delinquent accounts which are the subject of a pending application for compromise settlement or abatement of penalties shall still be issued the BIR-ICC/BCC being applied for as long as the amount being offered for payment upon the application for compromise settlement or abatement of penalties has been fully paid.

However, if the application for compromise settlement or abatement is denied within the three (3) year validity period of the BIR ICC/BCC, the applicant upon notification shall have thirty (30) days to fully settle the unpaid tax liabilities; otherwise, the BIR ICC/BCC shall be immediately revoked.

Importers and brokers whose previous BIR ICC/BCC has been revoked may be allowed to re-apply provided that the circumstances which led to the revocation are no longer existing.

Source: Philippine Information Agency

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