The Bureau of Customs implements Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 37-2021, with subject “Mandatory Geotagging of Photos and Videos taken by Customs Personnel in the Exercise of Customs Police Authority and Other Customs Operations”, effective on 13 December 2021.
CMO No. 37-2021 mandates the use of geotagging mobile applications in taking photos and videos in the exercise of Customs Police Authority as defined under Title II: Chapter three (3) of Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, and other aspects of operations which shall complement the use of Body-Worn Camera (BWC) or Alternative Recording Devices under CMO no. 33-2021.
This shall be mandatory under the following instances:
A. Approved controlled delivery operation
B. Boarding formalities
C. Conduct of auction sales
D. Destruction or condemnation of goods, including the transport thereof to the designated facility
E. Electronic Tracking of Containerized Cargo (E-TRACC)-related operations, particularly the conduct of investigation upon report of violation of E-TRACC rules and regulations
F. Fuel marking operations
G. Guarding duty at Customs import exit gates for containers/cargoes, if applicable
H. Hot pursuit
I. Inspection of consignees’ offices
J. Non-intrusive examination of goods
K. Physical examination of goods within and/or outside of Customs zone
L. Search of persons arriving from foreign countries
M. Service of Letter of Authority
N. Search of vehicles, other carriers, persons, and animals
O. Search on vessels or aircrafts and persons or goods conveyed therein
P. Covert and overt operations of the Intelligence Group and Enforcement Group
In addition, the said CMO prescribes the mandatory use of geotagged photos and videos in the submission of reports. All reports in the exercise of Customs operations will be accompanied by the printout of geotagged photos taken during operations. In line with this, all Customs Officers and employees involved in the conduct of covered operations shall download a geotagging mobile application that must show the following information, but not limited to: location address, latitude, longitude, and time and date.
The geotagged photos and videos will be submitted to the designated Data Custodian within 24 hours after the completion of operation and only those geotagged photos, videos, and recorded by the BWC or Alternative Recording Device will be accepted as proof of conduct of operations. In case of the use of an Alternative Recording Device, the same must likewise be geotagged.
Any act in violation or failure to comply with the subject CMO shall be grounds for administrative liabilities.
Under the leadership of Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, the Bureau of Customs continuously gears itself towards becoming a credible and world-class customs administration.