Audits, anti-smuggling drive helped BOC shore up collections | Inquirer Business

Audits, anti-smuggling drive helped BOC shore up collections

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 05:20 PM July 18, 2022
BOC’s 2022 collection goal raised to P733B as oil prices continue spike

Bureau of Customs. (File photo from Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines—The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has shored up its tax take with an additional P837.9 million generated through post-clearance audit in the first half of 2022.

In a statement on Monday (July 18), the BOC said its post-clearance audit group collected P683.9 million from 64 applications under the agency’s prior disclosure program from January to June.


The BOC also raised over P154 million from the 121 audit notice letters it issued during the first six months.

Also, “the bureau is expecting an additional collection in the total amount of P13.6 billion from the enforcement of 67 demand letters — arising from post-clearance audits conducted in 2019, 2020, and 2021 — which have become final and executory for the failure of the audited importers to contest the same,” the BOC added.


Separately, the BOC last Saturday (July 16) said it haled to court alleged smugglers and erring Customs brokers involved in 57 criminal and administrative cases filed as of end-June, under its bureau’s action team against smugglers (Batas) program.

In the first six months, the BOC filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) 46 criminal cases against importers, exporters, and customs brokers for violations of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) and other pertinent laws.

Another 11 administrative cases were filed by the BOC before the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) against unscrupulous Customs brokers.

“Data from Batas show that the [first-half] cases involved the unlawful importation and exportation of cigarettes valued at P250.6 million, agricultural products valued at P163.3 million, electronic devices valued at P137.9 million, general merchandise amounting to P77.3 million, motor vehicles valued at P49.4 million, used clothing valued at P23.1 million, and other commodities valued at P18.4 million,” the BOC said.

In the first half of this year, the BOC collected a total of P396.8 billion in import duties and other taxes, exceeding the P327.8-billion six-month target. In June alone, the BOC’s monthly tax take hit a record-high of P76.3 billion.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero last week said it helped that both importation volumes amid a recovering reopened economy, as well as import values due to high global commodity prices, especially of oil, were on the rise.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr’s economic team had tasked the BOC with collecting a higher P733 billion this year, to reap a tax windfall from costly fuel. Guerrero had expressed confidence that the BOC could again achieve its 2022 goal.


The Cabinet-level Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) had already raised the BOC’s 2022 collection target twice, Guerrero had disclosed.

From the original P679-billion program, the DBCC last May, then composed of ex-president Rodrigo Duterte’s economic team, hiked the BOC goal to P721 billion, Guerrero had told the Inquirer. Two weeks ago, the BOC’s target was again increased by the DBCC, this time with Marcos’ economic managers at the helm, to the current figure.

Despite the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic, the BOC surpassed its P616.7-billion goal for 2021, collecting P643.6 billion. In 2020, the P537.7-billion import duties and taxes it collected exceeded its P506.2-billion target.


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