BOC conducts post audit on rice imports
In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said traders were allowed to avail of the provisional goods declaration in processing their rice shipments during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure food supply amid mobility restrictions.
STAR/File
BOC conducts post audit on rice imports
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - September 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) is conducting post-modification and post-audit measures to ensure that rice shipments that entered the country are properly assessed and levied with the correct taxes and duties.

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said traders were allowed to avail of the provisional goods declaration in processing their rice shipments during the coronavirus pandemic to ensure food supply amid mobility restrictions.

However, he said the BOC found that the valuation of several rice shipments with provisional goods declaration to “be quite low compared to the prevailing market prices.”

“In the meantime, we are still conducting the post-modification, verifying the payments of rice because some of them are clearly undervalued. So we will catch up in the post- modification and post-audit (stage),” Guerrero said.

Under Customs Memorandum Order 7-2020, the duty and tax treatment of goods under provisional declaration should not be different from that of goods with complete declaration.

For the release of shipments under tentative assessment, importers are required to post the required security, whether in the form of surety bond or cash bond.

Earlier, the Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) questioned the assessment and valuation system of the BOC and said the alleged undervaluation of rice imports resulted in the loss of tariff revenues of at least P890 million from January to April.

Meanwhile, Guerrero said the BOC has also responded to reports by concerned citizens regarding warehouses suspected of storing smuggled rice stocks.

He said the customs bureau immediately issued Letters of Authority to enable BOC officers to inspect such warehouses and seize goods without importation permits.

“We actually raided them and we found out that many of these warehouses were operating legally and their stocks are covered by proper documents,” Guerrero said.

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