The Department of Finance (DOF) wants no delay in the implementation of pre-border and e-invoicing of all imported goods as the government moves to operationalize a digital border protection system.

For the first time, Finance Secretary Ralph Recto convened the Committee for Pre-border Technical Verification and Cross-border Electronic Invoicing (CPTVCEI) which was created under Administrative Order 23.

President Marcos issued AO 23 to expedite the inspection of all imported commodities entering the Philippines through digital and integrated pre-border technical verification and cross-border electronic invoicing.

This is aimed at strengthening national security, safeguarding consumer rights and protecting people against substandard and hazardous imported goods.

'We have two years to complete and fully implement the systems. Delay is not an option,' Recto said.

'With the systems in place, the country is now one step closer to putting an end to smuggling, misdeclaration and undervaluation,' he said.

It should be noted that AO 23 will be implemented in three phases with the first one covering agricultural goods followed by non-agricultural goods with health and safety issues.

The final phase will involve other goods with misdeclaration avoiding duties and taxes.

According to AO 23, pre-border technical verification is for safety testing and inspection of all imported commodities prior to shipment including the verification of specifications, description, weight, volume and country of origin.

Cross-border electronic invoicing system, on the other hand, will be used to create electronic invoices to monitor international trade transactions of all imported goods and will be shared in real time across government agencies for transparency.

Further, the CPTVCEI approved the creation of a technical working group that will review and finalize the objectives, scope, exemptions and qualifications for the accreditation of testing, inspection and certification companies for the AO's implementation.

The committee is expected to organize public consultations and stakeholder engagements to ensure the proper and efficient implementation of the systems.

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