The Philippines’ Bureau of Customs (BOC) says it has significantly exceeded its target for collecting of import duties as a direct result of a crackdown on trade-based financial crime.

Actual revenues from customs duty and other taxes in April amounted to 53.3 billion Philippine peso (P53.3 billion – US$64 million), surpassing the bureau’s goal of P51.6 billion by 3.3 per cent.

April 2019 revenues collected by the country’s second biggest tax-collection agency soared by 14 per cent over the P46.8 billion raised a year ago.

Enhanced revenue collection

Customs Commissioner Rey Guerrero attributed the improved collections to the BOC’s “stringent monitoring and continuing efforts to enhance revenue collection capabilities.”

The commissioner explained that the BOC’s higher revenues were the result of intensified control measures against undervaluation, misdeclaration and other forms of technical smuggling.

“I have given all the district collectors a stern order to closely monitor all the transactions in their respective ports to ensure that the correct duties and taxes are being paid and that customs laws, rules and regulations are being followed,” Guerrero said.

Performance variations

Out of the Philippines’ 17 revenue collection districts, 12 exceeded their individual targets.

Districts and ports that exceeded their revenue targets included Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Limay, San Fernando, Subic, Tacloban, Zamboanga as well as Manila International Container Port and Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Five ports that failed to meet their April targets were Aparri, Batangas, Clark, Manila and Surigao, based on preliminary BOC data.