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Duties collected from marked fuel total P97.1B

/ 04:30 AM August 15, 2020

Import duties and other taxes collected from oil products have reached P97.1 billion since the government began injecting fuels with chemical markers in September last year, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Friday.

As of Aug. 6, a total of 10.9 billion liters of oil have already been marked signifying collection of correct taxes, the BOC said in a statement, which cited a report from its enforcement group.

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Twenty oil firms regularly had their fuel marked, of which the biggest volumes were those of Petron (2.5 billion liters), Shell (2.3 billion), and Unioil (1.1 billion).

The bulk or eight billion liters of the marked fuel were located in depots and retail outlets in Luzon.

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In the Visayas region, 539 million liters of oil were marked and thus ensured payment of taxes; in Mindanao, 2.2 billion liters.

“The program’s strong performance affirms the BOC’s continued commitment to protect the borders and collect lawful revenues for the government,” the country’s second biggest revenue agency said.

“The BOC and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) continue to implement the program to ensure that the market’s fuel products have paid the corresponding duties and taxes due to the government during the current pandemic,” it added.

The BOC marked oil in depots, tank trucks, vessels, warehouses and fuel-transporting vehicles, while the BIR tested those kept in refineries and their attached depots, gasoline stations and retail outlets.

The country’s two largest tax-collection agencies have deputization and police authority during field testing so they can not only seize adulterated, diluted or unmarked petroleum but also arrest unscrupulous traders.

Fuel marking also continued even at the height of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Department of Finance expects to raise an additional P20 billion from the marking of about 15.2 billion liters this year. The program, which is aimed at discouraging smuggling and misdeclaration, was rolled out under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law. —BEN O. DE VERA

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