Customs collects P13.7 billion from rice tariff in 9 months
According to the BOC, the rice tariff collection exceeded the P12.32 billion revenue recorded from March 5, 2019, or the effectivity of the law, until end-December last year. During the same period, the volume of imported rice reached 2.03 million metric tons.
Edd Gumban, file
Customs collects P13.7 billion from rice tariff in 9 months
Mary Grace Padin (The Philippine Star) - October 23, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Tariffs collected by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) from rice imports amounted to P13.68 billion from January to September, overshooting the P10-billion target despite trade disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a text message to The STAR, Customs assistant commissioner Vincent Philip Maronilla said the total volume of rice imports during the nine-month period reached 2.1 million metric tons.

According to the BOC, the rice tariff collection exceeded the P12.32 billion revenue recorded from March 5, 2019, or the effectivity of the law, until end-December last year. During the same period, the volume of imported rice reached 2.03 million metric tons.

In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said the improvement in revenue from imported rice could be attributed to the bureau’s efforts to ensure the proper valuation of shipments.

Citing BOC data, Guerrero said the average valuation of rice increasingly improved from P18,178.86 per ton in January to P27,120 in September.

Dominguez also said the valuation of rice imports has increased even with the peso strengthening against the dollar.

In a separate statement, the BOC said its Post Clearance Audit Group has intensified the crackdown against all forms of smuggling of agricultural products, most specifically rice, through the continuous conduct of post-clearance audit verification and investigation of rice importers.

This came after the completion of the BOC’s regular audit of rice importers for 2019, which found that 85.45 percent of traders had violated customs laws and regulations.

Based on the results of the audit, traders were found liable of paying P1.417 billion in deficiency customs duties, penalties, surcharges, and interest due to undervaluation, misclassification, and/or understatement of freight and insurance charges.

In addition, the BOC said it has intensified its intelligence and enforcement measures, verifying reports from concerned citizens and stakeholders such as local farmer federations to curb the entry of smuggled rice into the country.

BUREAU OF CUSTOMS RICE
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