Customs overshoots 2021 collection goal

Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) surpassed its revenue target for 2021 by more than P29 billion due to better collection performance in most of the country’s ports.

Based on preliminary data, BOC collections grew by more than a fifth to P645.77 billion last year from P533.88 billion in 2020 due mainly to an improvement in global trade activity.

The latest collection figure exceeded by five percent the 2021 target of P616.75 billion and even surpassed by over two percent the pre-pandemic total of P630.31 billion in 2019.

For last year, the BOC said 13 out of the 17 collection districts nationwide exceeded their respective collection goals. The ports of San Fernando, Manila, Manila International Container Port, NAIA and Batangas beat their own targets.

Likewise, the ports of Legaspi, Iloilo, Surigao, Zamboanga and Davao, Subic, Limay and Clark also exceeded their collection targets.

The BOC said the agency managed to outdo its 2021 target and pre-pandemic figure due to improved valuation of imported goods.

Further, the agency strengthened its enforcement operations against smuggled goods resulting in the enhanced compliance of brokers and importers to customs laws.

It said the decision to lift border restrictions here and abroad contributed to the increase in import volume, boosting the agency’s collections.

Based on data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, total trade expanded by 24 percent as of October last year due to double digit jumps in exports and imports. In turn, the country’s trade deficit widened by two-thirds to $33.21 billion during the period from $20 billion a year ago.

Imports, in particular, ballooned by nearly 30 percent to $95.31 billion from January to October last year from $73.48 billion a year earlier. Electronic products, the country’s top import, swelled by more than 20 percent to $26.07 billion, while mineral fuels, lubricants and related materials, second in line, expanded by over 80 percent to $11.38 billion.

For December alone, the BOC recorded a collection of P62.48 billion, beating by about 21 percent the monthly target of P51.71 billion.

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