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FPI launches transfer of Customs’ post-entry audit to DOF

Zinnia B. Dela Peña (The Philippine Star) - November 30, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) has lauded the transfer of the Bureau of Customs’ post entry audit function to the Department of Finance, saying such a move will help shore up state coffers and strengthen the government’s campaign against smuggling.

FPI chairman Jesus Arranza said he believes the government will even be more efficient in curbing technical smuggling through undervaluation and underdeclaration.

The DOF’s Fiscal Intelligence Unit, led by Bureau of Internal Revenue commissioner Kim Henares, will now take charge of the BOC’s post-entry-audit functions which include determining the accuracy of import declarations and duties paid for already released shipments.

Arranza cited a previous policy by the Post-Entry Audit Group (PEAG) under the BOC’s watch  which allowed importers to still avail of the Voluntary Disclosure Program (VDP) even if discrepancies have been discovered in the valuations and declarations of already released importations.

“The old PEAG policy was prone to corruption as the letter to importers informing them of certain discrepancies in their declarations without a particular date of audit serves like a signal for them to negotiate with PEAG officials to enable them to avail of the voluntary disclosure program.” Arranza said.

Under the VDP, importers found to have understated the values and declaration of their already released importations and opt to avail of the program would no longer be sued by the government so long as additional duties and the corresponding penalties are paid.

 “The old PEAG policy practically defeats the purpose of putting up the office to deter technical smuggling as importers are still given the option to avail of the voluntary disclosure program even if their import undervaluations and underdeclarations have already been discovered by PEAG officials,”   Arranza said.

 “The essence of the Voluntary Disclosure Program is to give importers who may have unintentionally erred in their declarations the chance to correct their figures before the discrepancies are discovered by PEAG officials. This was the reason why I questioned that old PEAG policy of allowing importers to still avail of the voluntary disclosure program if their notice of discrepancy from PEAG did not indicate an audit date yet, ” he added.

 

 

ARRANZA BUREAU OF CUSTOMS BUREAU OF INTERNAL REVENUE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE FEDERATION OF PHILIPPINE INDUSTRIES FISCAL INTELLIGENCE UNIT JESUS ARRANZA KIM HENARES PEAG VOLUNTARY DISCLOSURE PROGRAM
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