Customs seizes P18 billion smuggled goods in Q1

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star
Customs seizes P18 billion smuggled goods in Q1
This photo shows a picture of the building of the Bureau of Customs.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) confiscated P18 billion in smuggled goods in the first quarter as the entry of illegal items into the country remains a problem.

The BOC said the total value of smuggled goods seized by the agency reached P18.11 billion from January to March .

This was slightly lower than the record P19.22-billion haul in the same period last year.

The BOC said the seizures in the first quarter are attributed to the agency’s intensified efforts against the illegal entry of various commodities into the Philippines.

For the period, illegal items caught by the BOC included drugs, cigarettes, luxury sports cars, agricultural products and other goods.

Similarly, the BOC marked 4.81 billion liters of fuel and collected P61.1 billion in duties and taxes.

The fuel marking program involves injecting chemical identifiers into tax-paid oil products, and is being carried out under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law to curb smuggling of petroleum products.

The BOC uses a chemical identifier to determine whether a fuel bundle complied with the corresponding taxes.

If a fuel bundle contains less than 95 percent of the marker, its owner will be directed to pay the duties first and then settle the penalties.

Petroleum products that are unmarked, with diluted markers or have counterfeit fuel markers shall be subject to duties and taxes, inclusive of the appropriate fines and penalties.

Further, the BOC revoked the accreditation of 11 importers and three Customs brokers during the period and filed 16 criminal charges against unscrupulous stakeholders.

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