âRice imports undervalued by P2.2 billionâ...
Data from the Bureau of Customs showed a total of 1.75 million metric tons of rice were imported during the eight-month period. Of the total, 81 percent declared values that were lower than the BOC’s reference prices and standard rates for shipping and insurance.
Philstar.com/Irish Lising, file
‘Rice imports undervalued by P2.2 billion’...
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - October 17, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Federation of Free Farmers (FFF) is calling anew on the government to immediately investigate the wrong application of tariff rates on rice imports which may have resulted in the loss of revenues of at least P2.2 billion in January to August.

The alleged undervaluation happened even as the Bureau of Customs reformed its valuation and classification system to curb such anomalies.

Data from the Bureau of Customs showed a total of 1.75 million metric tons of rice were imported during the eight-month period. Of the total, 81 percent declared values that were lower than the BOC’s reference prices and standard rates for shipping and insurance.

As a result, importers avoided paying an estimated P2.2 billion in tariffs.

Tariffs on rice imports are based on the cost of imports from the point of origin or the free on board price, plus the cost of freight and insurance.

FFF national manager Raul Montemayor said the extent of undervaluation actually increased compared to 2019, when FFF first exposed the anomalies.

“Imports were undervalued by only 17 percent on the average in 2019. But in just the first eight months of 2020, estimated tariff losses already exceeded the calculated undercollection for the whole of 2019,” he said.

Declared import costs this year averaged P18.28 per kilogram, instead of P22.75 per kilo if BOC and standard rates were applied. Because of the lower cost declarations, importers were able to reduce their tariff payments by 20 percent on the average.

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