Date 01/14/2014

Entry of Imported Items.

  1. Documents. Prior to arrival of the imported items or upon arrival the master of a
    vessel or aircraft shall deliver to the Director or his designee two copies of the
    manifest, bills of lading, airway bills and other documents as may be required by
    the Director and a true and correct copy of any correction of such documents.
    The  manifest  may  be  presented  either  in  hard  copy  or  electronically  as  a  soft
  2. Retention of Cargo. Cargo shall be retained at the place of unloading until the
    import  tax  has  been  paid.  Any  cargo  not  released  shall  remain  in  the  physical
    possession  of  the  terminal  operator  at  the  expense  of  the  consignee,  but  under
    Customs  custody  until  entry  is  made  and  the  import  tax  paid.  (40  PNCA
  3. Removal of Goods from Port. If the situation deems necessary, the Director or
    his  designee  may  remove  goods  from  the  original  port  of  entry  at  the  time  of
    import and store in a place designated by the Division of Customs.
  4. Goods in the physical possession of the terminal operator exceeding ninety (90)
    days from the date of import will be transferred by the terminal operator to the
    Page 12 of 12 Division of Customs for safekeeping and storage. The Division of Customs shall
    notify the owner or consignee in writing that any claim on merchandise being held
    in Customs custody will expire within 10 days from the date received by Customs
    from the terminal operator and the owner or consignee must claim the merchandise
    and  pay  the  tax  due  plus  related  penalty  and  interest.  If  the  merchandise  is  not
    claimed within ninety (90) days, from the date of import, the merchandise will be
    sold  at  auction  and  the  owner  or  consignee  shall  not  be  allowed  to  claim  the
    merchandise once the merchandise has been processed and advertised for auction.
  5. Release  of  Cargo.  No  carrier,  agent,  or  terminal  operator  shall  release  or  turn
    over to a consignee any merchandise being imported into the Republic without
    prior  official  written  permission  of  the  Director  or  his  designee.  (40  PNCA  §
    1304(f)).  Unauthorized  release  of  cargo  shall  be  subject  to  an  administrative
    penalty of not more than $5,000, imposed by the Director or will be dealt with in
    terms of section 3706 of the Anti-smuggling Act of RPPL 6-20.
  6. Examination of Goods.
    • Customs may examine.  A Customs officer may at any time before
      the release of imported goods, or after the declaration of goods for
      export,  examine  the  goods  and  open  or  cause  to  be  opened  any
      package or container of goods.
    • Customs may require cooperation.  A Customs Officer is authorized
      to require importers, exporters, transporters, warehouse operators, or
      their  representatives  to  present  goods  for  examination,  remove  any
      covering from the goods, unload any conveyance or open any part
      thereof, or open or unpack any package or container that he wishes to
    • Consequence of non-cooperation.  If the requirements of subsection are not complied with, the Customs Officer is authorized to
      have the work completed at the expense of the persons concerned.
  7. Taking of samples.
    • Customs Officer may take samples.  A Customs Officer is authorized
      to take a sample of imported goods, or goods to be exported, to assist
      him in the examination of the goods.
    • Importer or exporter may request samples.  The taking of samples,
      may also be at the request of the importer or exporter.
    • Disposal  of  samples.    All  samples  taken  under  subsection
      shall,  where  they  are  not  expended  during  the  analysis  or
      examination,  be  returned  or  disposed  of  as  prescribed  in  the
  8. Authority  to  detain  goods.  Goods  that  have  been  imported  or  are  about  to  be
    exported may be detained by a Customs Officer until he/she is satisfied that the
    goods have been dealt with in accordance with this regulation, and any other law
    that promotes, controls or regulates the importation or exportation of goods.
  9. Production  of  records  and  samples.  Customs  Officers  are  authorized  for  the
    purpose  of  examining  declarations  and  other  documents  describing  goods  that
    have  been  imported  or  reported  for  export,  to  request  that  the  importer  or
    exporter  produce  all  records  related  to  the  purchase,  sale,  importation,
    exportation  or  delivery  of  the  goods  described  and  produce  a  sample  of  the
  10. Unidentifiable goods. When there is reasonable doubt regarding the identification
    and authenticity of the goods upon physical inspection, the Customs Officer may
    detain the goods for further investigation and verification.
  11. Undeclared  Cargo  Upon  inspection,  items  found  undeclared  to  Customs  are
    subject to detention. Willful failure to so include such cargo or the presentation
    of  a  willfully  falsified  manifest  shall  be  deemed  to  be  a  violation  of  40  PNC
    Chapter 13. Such cargo may be released on payment of tax, storage fees, and a
    penalty or fine of not less than twice the value of the undeclared goods pursuant
    to 40 PNC Chapter 13 and/or RPPL 6-20 Section 3704 of the Smuggling Act.
    However, after proper investigation if deemed necessary, undeclared cargo may
    be confiscated.