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TARIFF AND CUSTOMS LAWS OF THE PHILIPPINES


This page features the full text of
    Republic Act No. 1937
Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines
AN ACT TO REVISE AND CODIFY THE TARIFF AND CUSTOMS LAWS OF THE PHILIPPINES
...
A DECREE TO CONSOLIDATE AND CODIFY ALL THE TARIFF AND CUSTOMS LAWS OF THE PHILIPPINES
Presidential Decree No. 1464
AN ACT AMENDING CERTAIN PROVISIONS OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1464, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE TARIFF AND CUSTOMS CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES, AS AMENDED, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
Republic Act No. 9135
AN ACT TO REVITALIZE AND STRENGTHEN THE BUREAU OF CUSTOMS, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE CERTAIN SECTIONS OF THE TARIFF AND CUSTOMS CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES, AS AMENDED.
Republic Act No. 7651
AN ACT REPEALING SECTION 1404 AND AMENDING SECTIONS 1401 AND 1403 OF THE TARIFF AND CUSTOMS CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES, AS AMENDED, RELATIVE TO THE PHYSICAL EXAMINATION OF IMPORTED ARTICLES.
Republic Act No. 7650



QUICK INDEX
OF THE
TARIFF AND CUSTOMS CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES
BOOK I
Tariff Law

Title I - Import Tariff
Title II - Administrative Provisions
BOOK II
Customs Law

Title I - The Bureau of Customs
Title II - Registration of Vessels, Coastwise Trade and Licensing of Marine Officers
Title III - Vessels and Aircraft in Foreign Trade
Title IV - Ascertainment, Collection and Recovery of Import Duty
Title V - Warehousing of Imported Articles
Title VI - Administrative and Judicial Proceedings
Title VII - Fees, Dues and Charges Collectible by the Bureau of Customs
Title VIII - General Provisions
..

REPUBLIC ACT NO. 1937
 
AN ACT TO REVISE AND CODIFY THE TARIFF AND CUSTOMS LAWS OF THE PHILIPPINES
 
BOOK II
CUSTOMS LAW 
 

TITLE VIII
GENERAL PROVISIONS 

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PART 1
CUSTOMS BROKERS 

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Section 3401. Qualifications of Applicants for Customs Broker's Certificate. — All applicants for customs broker's certificate shall pass a written examination for the purpose. 
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Applicants for admission to the said examination shall have the following qualifications:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

(a) At least 25 years of age; 
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(b) A citizen of the Philippines; 

(c) Of good moral character; and 

(d) Has completed a four-year collegiate course with at least two years experience in customs and tariff matters; an applicant who has only completed two years of college may be allowed to take the examination provided that each year lacking in customs shall be substituted by two years of actual experience in customs brokerage and/or customs and tariff matters: Provided, That said experience shall be duly certified by the employer or employers of the applicant. 

No corporation, association or partnership shall engage in the customs brokerage business unless at least two of the officers of such corporation or association, or at least two of the members of such partnership have such certificate. 
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No certificate as customs broker shall be granted to any person who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.


Sec. 3402. Examination by the Board of Examiners for Customs Brokers. — Examinations for customs brokers shall be given by the board of examiners for customs brokers under the supervision of the Bureau of Civil Service. Applications for admission to such examinations shall be filed with the Bureau of Civil Service. 


Examinations for customs brokers shall be given once every two years or oftener as the need therefor arises which fact shall be certified by the Commissioner of Customs and shall be confined to subjects with which such brokers are required to be conversant, including knowledge of customs and tariff laws and regulations, and of other laws and regulations the enforcement of which is the concern of the Bureau of Customs. 

The board shall submit within one hundred twenty days after the date of examination the ratings obtained by each candidate to the Commissioner of Civil Service who shall submit such ratings to the President of the Philippines for release. 

A general average of seventy-five per cent shall be the passing grade for this examination: Provided, That the examinee shall not have obtained a grade of less than sixty per cent in any of the examination subjects. 

This customs brokers' examination shall be considered as equivalent to the first grade regular examination given by the Bureau of Civil Service for purposes of appointment to positions in the classified service the duties of which involve knowledge of customs and tariff matters. 

Sec. 3403. The Board of Examiners. — The Board of Examiners for Customs Brokers shall be composed of the Commissioner of Customs, as ex-officio chairman and two members who shall be appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Commissioner of Civil Service. The two members of the board shall be holders of customs broker's certificate and shall hold office for a term of two years: Provided, That the first members shall hold office for the following terms: one member for one year, and the second member for two years. Vacancies in the board shall be filled for the unexpired term. 

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Sec. 3404. Compensation of Members of the Board. — The chairman and members of the board shall receive a compensation of ten pesos for each candidate examined. 
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Sec. 3405. Fees. — (a) Each applicant for examination shall pay a fee of fifty pesos which shall be paid to the Bureau of Civil Service. 

(b) Each successful candidate shall be issued a certificate as a customs broker upon payment of a fee of fifty pesos to the Bureau of Civil Service. 

Sec.  3406. Requisites. — Any person desiring to establish a customs brokerage business at any port in the Philippines shall apply for a license from the Collector of the port concerned. 

No such license shall be issued unless the applicant pays the required license fee of fifty pesos and files the required bonds for customs brokers. Whenever it shall appear that a bond given by a customs broker is inadequate, the Collector shall require additional or substitute bond to be filed. Such additional or substitute bond shall be furnished by the broker within ten (10) days after demand, otherwise his permit shall be suspended or revoked as circumstances may warrant. The bonds posted by the customs broker may be personal bonds guaranteed by at least two (2) sureties satisfactory to the Collector of the port or a surety bond posted by a duly licensed surety company. 

Sec. 3407. Issuance, Revocation and Suspension of Certificate. — A candidate who has passed the customs brokers' examination shall be entitled to the issuance of a certificate as a customs broker: Provided, That persons who qualified as customs brokers in accordance with customs regulations existing before the enactment of this Code and members of the technical staffs of the respective committees of Congress that reported this Code who desire to have a certificate issued to them may apply for the issuance of such certificate upon payment of the fees required under paragraph (b) of Section 3405 of this Code. 

A customs broker's certificate shall show among other things, the full name of the registrant, shall have a serial number and shall be signed by all the members of the board and the Commissioner of Civil Service, and shall bear the official seal of the board. 

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A complaint for the suspension or revocation of the certificate of a customs broker shall be filed with the Board of Examiners for Customs Brokers which shall investigate the case and shall submit its findings and recommendations to the Commissioner of Civil Service who shall decide the case. The Commissioner of Civil Service shall immediately furnish the respondent customs broker with a copy of his decision.
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Sec. 3408. Roster of Customs Brokers. — A roster showing the names and addresses of the customs brokers shall be prepared by the Commissioner of Civil Service during the month of July of every year. Copies of this roster shall be mailed to each person so registered and placed on file with the Office of the President of the Philippines, and copies thereof shall be furnished to the Office of the Secretary of Finance, to the Commissioner and Collectors of Customs and to such other bureaus, government agencies and provincial and municipal authorities as may be deemed necessary, and to the public upon request. 

Sec. 3409. Rules and Regulations by the Commissioner of Civil Service. — The Commissioner of Civil Service, upon recommendation of the Board of Examiners for Customs Brokers, shall promulgate such rules and regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of Part 1 of this title. 

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PART 2
MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS 

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Sec. 3501. Duty of Collector to Report Rulings to Commissioner. — When any new or unsettled question shall be determined by a Collector he shall, if the matter is not otherwise appealed for review in the ordinary course, notify the Commissioner of his decision and submit an adequate statement of the facts involved. 

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Sec. 3502. Application of Established Ruling or Decision. — A ruling or decision of the Bureau of Customs which determines the construction or application of any provision of law imposing customs duties and which changes any existing established classification, interpretation or practice shall not take effect until after thirty days public notice shall be given in the form of published tariff decision. When such ruling or decision favors the taxpayers it shall become effective immediately. 

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Sec. 3503. Authority of Official to Administer Oaths and Take Testimony. — The Commissioner, Collectors and their assistants, deputies, surveyors, appraisers and any other person thereunto especially deputized by the Collector, shall have authority to administer oaths and take testimony in connection with any matter within the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Customs, and in connection therewith may require the production of relevant papers, documents, books and records in accordance with law. 

Sec. 3504. General Bonds. — In cases where bonds are required to be given under the provisions of the customs and tariff laws, the Collector, instead of requiring separate special bonds where the transactions of a particular party are numerous, may accept general bonds extending over such periods of time and covering such transactions of the party in question as shall be satisfactory to said Collector. 

Sec. 3505. Supervision over Attorneys-in-fact. — Persons acting as agents or attorneys-in-fact of other persons in matters pertaining to customs and/or tariff or navigation may be required to file their respective powers of attorney with the Collector of the port. No more than two such continuing powers may be accepted or recognized from any one person acting as agent in the importation of articles unless he be a licensed customs broker. 

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Sec. 3506. Assignment of Customs Employees to Overtime Work. — Customs employees may be assigned by a Collector to do overtime work at rates fixed by the Commissioner, when the service rendered is to be paid for by importers, shippers or other persons served. 

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Sec. 3507. Exclusive License for Landing of Passengers and Baggage. — The Commissioner may select, in any port of entry, one person or firm to do, at reasonable rates, all the business of landing passengers and baggage for hire from incoming vessels or aircrafts and to this end may enter into an exclusive contract for the period of one year. 

The contract shall be awarded only after due advertisement for bids, which shall cover the cost of landing passenger per person and luggage per piece, to the lowest responsible bidder. 

Sec. 3508. Bond to Be Given. — The person or firm to which the contract was awarded shall, before entering the performance of such contract, execute a bond in favor of the government for the benefit of whomsoever may be concerned, conditioned upon (a) the acquisition of a sufficient equipment of launches and other means of conveniently landing passengers and baggage, (b) the landing of all the passengers and all the baggage as occasion may require during the entire year covered by the contract, and (c) the prompt payment of all losses of baggage or other property so handled, due to negligence in the performance of the contract, the amount of such liability to be finally determined by the Commissioner.

Sec. 3509. Supervision by Commissioner over Execution ofContract. — The Commissioner shall supervise the Execution of the contract and the conduct of business thereunder, and shall have the power, upon breach of the contract or violation of any regulation concerning the same, at once to annul the contract, awarding the privilege to another in the same manner as before. 

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Sec. 3510. Reduction of Testimony to Writing. — When testimony is taken in any proceeding or matter under the authority of the Bureau of Customs, either party may require that the same be reduced to writing, and when so taken it shall be filed in the office of the Collector and preserved for use or reference until final decision. 

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Sec. 3511. Collector not Liable in Respect of Ruling in Customs Cases. — No Collector or other official of customs shall be in any way personally liable for or on account of any official ruling or decision as to which the person claiming to be aggrieved has the right to obtain either an administrative or judicial review, and except for a misdelivery of articles a Collector shall not, in the absence of abuse of authority be liable to any person for a loss occasioned either by his own official act or the act of his subordinates. 

Sec. 3512. Interest Prohibited to be Held by Customs Employees. — No person employed under the authority of the government in the collection of duties, taxes, fees and other charges in connection with imports and/or exports, shall own, either in whole or in part, any vessel or aircraft, or act as attorney agent or consignee for the owner of any vessel or aircraft or of any cargo laden on board the same; nor shall any such person consort or be concerned, directly or indirectly, in the importation of any article for sale into the Philippines. 

Sec. 3513. Reward for Information or Discovery Concerning Fraud upon Customs Revenue. — When any private person shall furnish definite information concerning any fraud upon the customs revenue, by whomsoever attempted or perpetrated, which shall result in the recovery of revenue, the conviction of the guilty party, or the imposition of any fine or penalty, of the forfeiture of any of the property enumerated in section twenty-five hundred and thirty hereof, such person shall be rewarded in accordance with the following schedule, but not exceeding in any case the sum of fifty thousand pesos: 

a. Where a fine, judicial or administrative, is collected, twenty-five per centum of such fine; 
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b. In cases where no fine is imposed, twenty-five per centum of the additional revenue recovered by the government and collected by reason of the information given; 
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c. Where the offender has chosen to compromise his violation of the law and his offer of compromise is accepted by the Commissioner, twenty-five per centum of such compromise; 
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d. In cases of forfeiture and subsequent redemption of the articles seized, upon payment of all duties, taxes and other charges due thereon, twenty-five per centum of the amount of such administrative fine as the Commissioner may actually impose and collect in lieu of forfeiture; 
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e. In case of public sale of property seized as a result of the information as furnished, twenty-five per centum of the proceeds of the sale after deducting only the charges specified in subsections (a) and (e) of section twenty-six hundred and five hereof. 

Provided, however, That the balance of seventy-five per centum in subsections (a), (b), (c), (d) and (e) shall be distributed thus: fifteen per centum, to the Customs Welfare Fund, which is hereby created according to the rules and regulations promulgated by the Commissioner, to be used exclusively for the benefit of customs officials and employees and their families: ten per centum, shall be paid the customs official or employee who has discovered and reported such anomalies with the assistance of an informer; and the remaining fifty per centum, to the Government. 
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Sec. 3514. Words and Phrases Defined. — As used in this Code: 

"Foreign port" means a port or place outside the jurisdiction of the Philippines. 
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"Port of entry" is a domestic port open to both foreign and coastwise trade. The term includes principal ports of entry and subports of entry. A "principal port of entry" is the chief port of entry of the collection district wherein it is situated and is the permanent station of the Collector of such port. Subports of entry are under the administrative jurisdiction of the Collector of the principal port of entry of the district. Whenever the term "Port of entry" is used herein, it shall include "airport of entry". 
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"Coastwise ports" are such domestic ports as are open to the coastwise trade only. These include all ports, harbors and places not ports of entry. 

"Vessels" includes every sort of boat, craft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water. 

"Aircraft" includes any weight-carrying devise or structures for the navigation of the air. 

"Bill of lading" includes airway bill of lading. 

"Articles", when used with reference to importation or exportation, includes goods, wares and merchandise and in general anything that may be made the subject of importation or exportation. 

"Transit cargo" is article arriving at any port from another port or place noted in the carrier's manifest and destined for transshipment to another local port or to a foreign port. 

"Seized property" means any property seized or held for the satisfaction of any administrative fine or for the enforcement of any forfeiture under the customs and tariff laws. 

"Tariff and customs law" includes not only the provisions of this Code and regulations pursuant thereto but all other laws and regulations which are subject to enforcement by the Bureau of Customs or otherwise within its jurisdiction. 

"Taxes" includes all taxes, fees and charges imposed by the Bureau of Customs and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

"Secretary" or "department head" refers, unless otherwise specified, to the Secretary of Finance. 
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"Commission" refers to the Tariff Commission. 
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"Person" whether singular or plural refers to an individual, corporation, partnership, association, company or any other kind of organization.  chanrobles virtual law library
PART 3
PENAL PROVISIONS

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Sec. 3601. Unlawful Importation. — Any person who shall fraudulently import or bring into the Philippines, or assist in so doing, any article, contrary to law, or shall receive, conceal, buy, sell, or in any manner facilitate the transportation, concealment, or sale of such article after importation, knowing the same to have been imported contrary to law, shall be punished by a fine of not less than six hundred pesos nor more than five thousand pesos and imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than two years and, if the offender is an alien, he shall be deported after serving the sentence. 

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When, upon trial for a violation of this section, the defendant is shown to have or to have had possession of the article in question, such possession shall be deemed sufficient evidence to authorize conviction, unless the defendant shall explain the possession to the satisfaction of the court. 
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Sec. 3602. Various Fraudulent Practices Against Customs Revenue. — Any person who makes or attempts to make any entry of imported or exported article by means of any false or fraudulent invoice, declaration, affidavit, letter, paper, or by means of any false statement, written or verbal, or by means of any false or fraudulent practice whatsoever, or shall be guilty of any willful act or omission by means of whereof the Government might be deprived of the lawful duties, taxes and other charges, or any portion thereof, accruing from the article or any portion thereof, embraced or referred to in such invoice, declaration, affidavit, letter, paper, or statement, or affected by such act or omission, shall, for each offense, be punished by a fine of not less than six hundred pesos nor more than five thousand pesos and by imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than two years and if the offender is an alien, he shall be deported after serving the sentence. 

Sec. 3603. Failure to Report Fraud. — Any master, pilot in command or other officer, owner or agent of any vessel or aircraft trading with or within the Philippines and any employee of the Bureau of Customs, who, having cognizance of any fraud upon the customs revenue, shall fail to report all information relative thereto to the Collector, as by law required, shall be punished by a fine of not more than two thousand pesos or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Sec. 3604. Statutory Offense of Officials and Employees. — Every official, agent or employee of the Bureau of Customs who is guilty of any delinquency hereinbelow specified or who falls within any of the classes hereinbelow indicated shall be punished by a fine of not less than four hundred pesos nor more than ten thousand pesos or by imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than five years, or both. 

a. Those guilty of extortion of willful oppression under color of law. 
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b. Those who knowingly demand other or greater sums than are authorized by law or receive any fee, compensation or reward, except as by law prescribed, for the performance of any duty. 
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c. Those who willfully neglect to give receipts, as by law required, for any sum collected in the performance of duty, or who willfully neglect to perform any of the duties enjoined by law. 

d. Those who conspire or collude with another or others to defraud the customs revenue or otherwise violate the law. 

e. Those who willfully make opportunity for any person to defraud the customs revenue or who do or fail to do any act with intent to enable any person to defraud said revenue. 

f. Those who negligently or designedly permit the violation of the law by any other person. 

 
g. Those who make or sign any false entry or entries in any book, or make or sign any false certificate or return in any case where the law requires the making by them of such entry, certificate or return. 
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h. Those who, having knowledge or information of a violation of the tariff and customs law or any fraud committed on the revenue collectible by the Bureau of Customs, fail to report such knowledge or information to their superior official or to report as otherwise required by law. 

i. Those who, without the authority of law, demand or accept or attempt to collect directly or indirectly as payment or otherwise, any sum of money or other thing of value for the compromise, adjustment, or settlement of any charge or complaint for any violation or alleged violation of law. 

Sec. 3605. Concealment or Destruction of Evidence of Fraud. — Any person who willfully conceals or destroys, any invoice, book or paper relating to any article liable to duty, after an inspection thereof has been demanded by the Collector of any Collection district, or at any time conceals or destroys any such invoice, book or paper for the purpose of suppressing any evidence of fraud therein contained, shall be punished by a fine of not more than two thousand pesos, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both. 
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Sec. 3606. Breaking of Seal on Car or Conveyance by Land, Sea or Air. — Any person who shall willfully break or destroy any seal placed by a customs official upon any car, or other conveyance by land, sea or air, or any compartment thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than one thousand pesos. 
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Sec. 3607. Alteration of Marks on Any Package of Warehoused Articles. — Any person who alters, defaces or obliterates any distinctive mark placed by a customs official on any package of warehoused articles shall be liable to fine of not more than one thousand pesos. 

Sec. 3608. Fraudulent Opening or Entering of Warehouse. — Any importer or owner of warehoused articles, or person in his employ, who by contrivance, fraudulently opens the warehouse, or gains access to the articles, except in the presence of the proper official of the customs acting in the execution of his duty, shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one thousand pesos, or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or both. 

Sec. 3609. Fraudulent Removal or Concealment of Warehoused Articles. — Any person who shall fraudulently remove warehoused articles from any public or private warehouse or shall fraudulently conceal such articles in any such warehouse, or shall aid or abet any such removal or concealment, shall be punished by a fine of not more than two thousand pesos, or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or both.

Sec. 3610. Violation of Tariff and Customs Laws and Regulations in General. — Any person who violates a provision of this Code or regulations pursuant thereto, for which delinquency no specific penalty is provided, shall be punished by a fine of not more than four hundred pesos or by imprisonment for not more than six months, or both. 

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FINAL PROVISIONS

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Sec. 3701. Repealing Clause. — All Acts, Executive Orders, rules and regulations or parts thereof, in conflict with the provisions of this Code, are repealed. 

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Sec. 3702. Transitory Provision. — All suits, proceedings or prosecutions, whether civil or criminal, for causes arising or acts done or committed prior to the effectivity of this Code, shall be commenced and/or prosecuted within the same time, in the same manner and with the same effect as if this Code had not been passed; and all rights acquired, offenses committed, and penalties, forfeitures or liabilities incurred, prior to the said effectivity, shall not be affected thereby. 

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Sec. 3703. Separability Clause. — If any part or parts of this Code should for any reason be held to be invalid or unconstitutional, the remaining parts thereof shall remain in full force and effect. 

Sec. 3704. Effectivity Date. — This Code shall take effect on July 1, 1957, except Part 4 of Title II of Book I, and Parts 1 and 2 of Title I of Book II, which shall take effect upon its approval. chanrobles virtual law library

Sec. 3705. Functions Temporarily Performed by the Bureau ofCustoms. — The Bureau of Customs shall continue to perform the functions transferred to the Bureau of Water Transportation pending the organization of the latter. 


 

Approved: June 22, 1957 

  (Note:  Except Sections 703 and 3204 which were vetoed)



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