ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Crackdown on Philippine smuggling
Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez told reporters that the bureau will tighten its monitoring of all privately-held Customs bonded warehouses (CBWs).
"I will limit the proliferation of bonded warehouse as we already have too much," he said. At present, the country has 200 CBWs.
The five teams that would monitor CBWs would operate under the bureau's Run After The Smugglers (RATS) Program.
The announcement came after the BOC filed smuggling charges at the Department of Justice against CBW operators Skyland Manufacturing Corp. and Rajmin Garments Manufacturing Corp., both of which share an office in Cityland Pasong Tamo Tower in Makati City.
In its complaint, the BOC said these CBW operators were engaged in the importation of polyester/cotton yarn and misused their bonded warehousing privileges to defraud the government of more than P80 million in unpaid duties and taxes between January and mid-November this year.
Alvarez said there is a pressing need to nail down bonded warehouse smugglers because their modus operandi are widely believed to be a major cause of revenue bleeding.
Their modus operandi include diversion of the imported raw materials to the local market, illegal withdrawal of merchandise stored in bonded warehouses, and, as in the case of Skyland and Rajmin, ghost exportation of finished products.
Under the Customs warehousing rule, the government will not charge tax on imported items provided however, that these are re-exported.
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