China promises to ‘look into’ fake cigarette trade in PH
The Chinese government has assured cooperation with the Philippines in its anti-illicit cigarette trade campaign, particularly in stopping the entry of illegal equipment from the mainland, the Department of Finance (DOF) said Monday.
In a report to Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero said he already told the vice minister of the General Administration of Customs of China of the country’s concerns about unauthorized machines coming in from China.
“I asked them if they could stop such exportations on their part because this is creating problems as far as we’re concerned,” Guerrero told Dominguez. The Customs chief met with the Chinese official on the sidelines of the 28th Asean Customs Directors-General Meeting in Laos.
In response, the Chinese customs official supposedly told Guerrero they would “look into the matter.”
In December, Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar R. Dulay reported to Dominguez that “the illegal tobacco trade has shifted from smuggling cigarettes to producing counterfeit brands here using undocumented cigarette-making machines acquired from China.”
Counterfeiters were already using “smaller, more portable” cigarette-producing machines, Dulay had said.
“They have graduated from fake stamps to fake cigarettes,” Dulay had been quoted by the DOF as saying.
Dominguez had ordered Guerrero and Dulay “to coordinate with Chinese officials to inform them about this new illicit scheme and to request them not to allow the export of cigarette-making machines from China to the Philippines without the proper documentation.”
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