BOC to launch probe into top 3 smuggled items

SMUGGLING. Smuggling of luxury vehicles, cigarettes, and oil were the top sources of revenue leaks, according to the Bureau of Customs. File photo

SMUGGLING. Smuggling of luxury vehicles, cigarettes, and oil were the top sources of revenue leaks, according to the Bureau of Customs.

File photo

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) will launch an investigation into the top 3 products being smuggled into the country, resulting in billions of revenue losses.

Smuggling of luxury vehicles, cigarettes, and oil were the top sources of revenue leaks, amounting to more than P50 billion a year or 10.68% of the BOC's revenue target of P467.9 billion.

The BOC loses an estimated P22.5 billion from oil smuggling; P16 million from illegal cigarette sales; and P21 billion from vehicle smuggling, according to data from the Global Financial Integrity and the International Monetary Fund.

Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon has directed the bureau's intelligence and investigation service to look into the smuggling of these big-ticket items, and to investigate companies suspected of being involved in the misdeclaration of the value of these goods.

“We are ready to use all available options in the probe against erring companies of oil, motor vehicle, and cigarette to make sure we control all forms of revenue leaks that are seriously detrimental to hitting revenue targets including proper trade facilitation processes of BOC," Faeldon said. 

Exceeded revenue target

Meanwhile, the BOC exceeded its overall revenue target last month after several ports registered a surplus, including the Port of Manila.

Other ports exceeded their revenue targets. The 11 ports – including  San Fernando, Manila, Legaspi, Iloilo, Cebu, Tacloban, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Davao, Subic, and Limay – contributed to the BOC's P35.745-billion revenue for January.

This was P236 million more than the bureau's revenue goal of P35.509 billion, and higher than the P31.08-billion amount collected in January last year.

The Port of Manila, which had been facing revenue shortfalls, posted a total cash collection of P5.8 billion, or a surplus of 2.53% for January.

The Manila International Container Port (MICP), meanwhile, recorded P10.9 billion in revenues, just P50 million short of its target. – Rappler.com