MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has created a unit that will ensure smooth flow of import commodities, including vaccines, as the country continues to battle the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In a statement released on Friday, the bureau said the primary function of the newly-created Covax Importation Unit, is to ensure the smooth and speedy processing and monitoring of the Covid-19 vaccine importations.
It is also responsible for coordinating with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and other concerned agencies on matters relating to Covid-19 vaccines.
The BOC added that the One-Stop-Shop at the Port of NAIA also ensures expeditious processing and release of approved vaccines, personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and other goods essential in the fight against Covid-19, provided that all regulated goods are compliant with the required permits.
Meanwhile, the BOC is also expecting an increase in the volume of importation of processed and canned meat products and pork products following the issuance of Executive Order 123, which extends the 5 percent tariff on imports of mechanically-deboned meat (MDM) of chicken and turkey until the end of 2021.
Likewise, the Department of Agriculture recently announced the possible increase in the minimum access volume (MAV) allocation for pork to stabilize its supply and prices in the market.
With these recent developments, the BOC has strengthened its trade facilitation programs and activities to ensure a continued supply of essential food products. Customer Care Centers established in 17 Collection Districts remain operational to assist stakeholders with their concerns and BOC-related transactions.
The BOC also assured the public that it will continue to adopt measures necessary to protect, facilitate and minimize disruption to the supply chain, especially for basic and essential goods. (PNA)