BOC charges PH’s second largest steel importer with misdeclaration of taxes
MANILA, Philippines — No amount of guise could hide the country’s second largest steel importer from the law enforcement of the Bureau of Customs.
On Friday morning, BOC chairperson John Sevilla filed charges against steel importer Thunder Birds Trading before the Department of Justice after the company declared its shipment of angle bars as steel bars.
Sevilla said that upon their inspection of the shipment, which came from China and was coursed through the Port of Manila, they found out that the shipment contained angle bars instead of steel bars.
He added that Thunder Birds Trading intentionally labeled the shipment wrong to avoid paying higher taxes.
Thunder Birds Trading misdeclared their shipment to avoid paying the additional Safeguard Duty, which is part of the dues for importing steel bars, of a total of P1,556,532.60.
Apart from the wrong declaration of the shipped materials, the BOC found out that Thunder Birds shipped 420 metric tons of steel and not the 175 tons that the company initially declared.
“This is a good example to show to the public the modus that smugglers do to avoid paying higher charges,” Sevilla said.
Also, the BOC found out that Thunder Birds’ owner, Shine Rapadas Montes, and its brokers “cheated” on the Dutiable Value that was declared in the shipment.
According to the BOC, Thunder Birds was due P14.495 million on total Dutiable Value, that would result in total Duties and Taxes of P4.458 million, instead they only declared P4.974 million that would result to Duties and Taxes of P1.417 million.
According to the Philippine Iron and Steel Institute, smuggled steel products that are produced are subpar compared to those that have complied with Philippine safety standards.
“Aside from curbing smuggling, we at the BOC are mandated to stop the entry of substandard products in the market,” Sevilla said. “These products pose risks for our people’s health and safety.”
According to BOC’s records, Thunder Birds held the second-largest imports of steel in 2013 when they brought in 7.6 million kilograms of iron and steel products.
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