BOC seeks to recover lost revenue with fuel marking system rollout
With the planned rollout of the fuel marking system before the year ends, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) hopes to recover more than half of the P40-billion loss in revenue due to the illegal trade of petroleum products, BOC Director Yogi Filemon Ruiz told reporters on Tuesday at the sidelines of the 1st Anti-Illegal Trade Summit held in Makati.
“With the remaining six months that we could implement the fuel marking system, hopefully, we can recover more than half [of the P40 billion loss]…It will be much different right now with the fuel marking [system],” said Ruiz, who represented BOC Commissioner Isidro Lapena in the summit.
“The drafting of the IR (implementing rules) for the fuel marking system is ongoing. But for sure in two months it will be implemented…,” he said, adding that Lapena actually wants it implemented before July. The fuel marking system was pilot tested in Subic last month.
Plans to implement the fuel marking system as an anti-smuggling and tax administration measure was formulated last year as part of the first package of the TRAIN law.
Ruiz also noted that the fuel marking system would make it difficult for smugglers to sell petroleum products that did not pass through BOC’s regulation since these products would not have the “special additive” that act as chemical markers.
“It is tantamount to fuel that is smuggled… It will be a better deterrent against smugglers,” he added.
Based on BOC data presented by Ruiz, 24 percent of the bureau’s total revenue collection comes from fuel products. He said the BOC expects a higher percentage of fuel tax revenues once the marking system is in place.
Petroleum ranks first among eight major industries whose products are “frequently smuggled.”
Results of the “Multi-industry Illicit Trade Research Study” presented at the summit by Rolando Dy of the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) show that the compounded estimated value of smuggled goods was P680 billion from 2011 to 2015, thereby decreasing the country’s gross domestic product by 0.48 percent.
Top sources of smuggled petroleum products, based on the findings of the UA&P study, include Taiwan and Singapore, which are also “transshipment points.”/ee
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