Gov’t starts marking of tax-paid petroleum products

Robie de Guzman   •   August 2, 2019   •   992

MANILA, Philippines – The government, led by the Department of Finance and its attached agencies, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Bureau of Customs (BOC), on Friday started the implementation of the Fuel Marking Program.

The BOC said the program began by conducting the first live marking of petroleum products at the Seaoil Bulk Terminal in Mabini, Batangas.

The fuel marking program was first introduced by the government in 2017 in a bid to curb oil smuggling in the country.

The program aims to plug revenue leakages from oil smuggling by placing a molecular marker on imported, manufactured and refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene.

Under Section 148-A of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), as amended by Republic Act No. 10963, otherwise known as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) and DOF-BOC-BIR Joint Circular No. 001.2019, stocktaking shall be conducted on all tax paid gasoline, diesel and kerosene stored in all depots/terminals.

The BOC said that in the next few months, random field testing will be conducted on depots, tank trucks and retail stations in order to determine the presence and dilution level of the fuel marker on fuels which are subjected to marking.

This activity will continue until the market is saturated with marked fuels, according to the bureau.

“A confirmatory testing will be conducted immediately on fuels found to be unmarked or with marker levels below the prescribed dilution level and corresponding duties and taxes will be collected from oil companies found to have unmarked or diluted fuels,” Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said in a statement.

“The implementation of the Fuel Marking Program is a milestone for the Bureau of Customs as well as the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Department of Finance, as we have painstakingly worked together in order to ensure the success of the Program.”

“With the cooperation and support of partner agencies and stakeholders, we are ready to implement the Fuel Marking program and make it work,” he added.

Last July 25, the DOF, BOC, BIR conducted a simulation of the marking and testing process in Subic Freeport Zone.

This was done in coordination with the PTT Philippines and Fuel Marking Provider: SICPA-SGS Philippines at the Philippine Coastal Storage and Pipeline Corporation (PCSPC).

BOC seizes P4.4M worth of smuggled sugar from China

Robie de Guzman   •   November 14, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Eight containers of smuggled sugar estimated to be worth P4.4 million have been seized at the Port of Manila, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said on Thursday.

The BOC said the confiscated sugar, which was shipped from China, arrived at the South Harboron August 30.

The shipment consigned to RZTREC Trading was declared to contain steel coils.

But upon closer inspection on November 13, the BOC found the containers to be carrying Korach conditioned refined sugar.

The bureau said a warrant of seizure and detention has been issued against the said shipment for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

2 suspects nabbed, P6.8 million worth of shabu seized at Makati Bar

Robie de Guzman   •   November 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Around P6.8 million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) was seized at a bar in Makati City on Tuesday, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

Two suspects, identified as Edison Chua and Brian Bentigui, were also arrested after they accepted the delivery of a package containing around one kilogram of shabu.

The operation was jointly conducted by personnel from the BOC, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, Philippine National Police and the Manila International Airport Authority.

Authorities said the shabu, concealed in a water filter and shipped from San Antonio, Texas, was intercepted at the FedEx warehouse on Nov. 6. It was consigned to Chua.

The two suspects will face charges for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

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P4.2M worth of smuggled cigarettes seized in Zamboanga

Marje Pelayo   •   November 8, 2019

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday (November 5) seized P4.2 million worth of smuggled cigarettes at Urban Poor Drive, Tugbungan, Zamboanga City.

The items consisting of 143 master cases and 40 reams of Bravo Red Cigarettes from Malaysia, were discovered aboard a panel truck with temporary plate No. 090104.

The smuggled cigarettes and the truck were immediately turned over to the BOC for inventory and proper disposition.

Meanwhile, the suspects involved were turned over to Zamboanga Police Office Station 06 for investigation and for filing of possible charges.

District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr. said in a statement that the agency’s intensified anti-smuggling operations under the marching orders of BOC Commissioner Rey Guerrero mainly contributed to the apprehension.

Barte said seizure of fake and smuggled products will protect the public from possible health risks these items pose.

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