More automation set for Subic shipments

June 24, 2010 9:56 pm 

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, June 24 — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) will implement on July 15 the electronic Gatepass Management System (GMS) for shipments admitted here and then sold to areas in the Bureau of Customs (BOC) territory.

SBMA administrator Armand Arreza said the new automated system “would help stem tax and duty leakages of Subic imports into the domestic market.”

Arreza signed with BOC deputy commissioner Alexander Arevalo on Wednesday a joint memorandum order to implement the GMS after a successful test run of the system starting May 20 with two Subic locators participating.

He identified the two as PTT Philippines and Microbase Transport and Equipment Inc., which used the GMS to cover their shipments of oil products and vehicles, respectively, sold outside of this free port.

He said the system used high-tech scanners to ensure that only “legal goods” exit the gates.

Moreover, partial deliveries are allowed only up to the extent of the tax and duty paid, which are instantly determined and updated through the electronic system.

“This is in keeping up with the times,” Arreza described the SBMA-BoC automation project.

“Just as it was virtually impossible to cheat in the recent automated elections, the GMS would ensure that the transfer of shipments to and from this free port will be fast, easy, and transparent,” he said.

Arevalo , meanwhile, affirmed that the GMS was designed to strengthen SBMA-BoC coordination and cooperation further through synchronization of processes and requirements.

Aside from making it even harder for potential smugglers to use the port of Subic for illegal activities, Arevalo said the GMS would greatly reduce the time and cost of doing business in the free port.

The GMS is the second joint automation project of SBMA and BoC, coming six weeks after the deployment of the Automated Export Documentation System (AEDS) for the seamless processing of export shipments loaded at the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA) and the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

More than 2,000 export shipments had been processed under the AEDS to the satisfaction of Subic locators, Arreza said.

He said the SBMA has a third automation project in the pipeline: the use of Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) to track blue-plated vehicles, which enter Subic tax-exempt and are meant to be used only within the Subic Special Economic and Freeport Zone.

Said vehicles can be used outside the free port for official business, but must be returned to the zone after 15 days. (PNA)



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