Imports to the Philippines undervalued by 25 per cent says customs official

Trade misinvoicing has cut the amount of taxes and duties due on imports to the Philippines by 25 per cent according to officials there.

But recent legislation could make a big difference once the rules and regulations required to implement the new law have been drafted.

Deteriorating situation

Mandy Anderson, chief of staff to Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon, calculates that between 1969 and 2011, the equivalent of at least US$250 billion in potential revenues was lost due to trade misinvoicing.

The annual losses were most likely higher between 2011 and 2016, a period during which imports surged according to Anderson.

She says that the revenue loss estimates do not include smuggled goods entering the country with no documentation at all, and explains that the country is now taking steps to dramatically improve efficiency, transparency and governance in its Bureau of Customs.

New legislation

The Philippines recently passed the Customs Modernisation and Tariff Act (CMTA) and consultations are now underway to draw up rules and regulations consistent with the new law.

The act empowers the bureau’s leadership to undertake dramatic reforms including the electronic processing of all documents, forms and receipts; streamlining methods for examination and valuation of imports and exports, and simplifying processes for seizing and disposing of illegal goods.

Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News

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