DOF Strengthens Anti-Smuggling Initiative

Article excerpt

The Department of Finance (DOF) has authorized the Bureau of Customs to start the development and implementation of a new set of measures aimed at curbing the smuggling of oil and other goods into the country.

Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said that Customs would soon implement port accreditation, submission of rolling import plans by importers, trade statistics reconciliation, special monitoring of oil smuggling cases starting next month.

Purisima said that the measures will significantly hinder smuggling in the Philippines. "Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon and I have been working on these anti-smuggling tactics, which should provide new tools to empower our customs department against smugglers. In addition, they will make customs collectors accountable for their own performance," Purisima said. Under Purisima's department order, only particular ports will be accredited for sensitive commodities such as oil, steel, grains, tiles, gold and vehicles, subject to standards, technical requirements and applicable laws, rules and regulations.

Accredited ports are to submit to the DOF monthly trade statistical reports that will be cross-checked with data from the Department of Energy (DOE), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and other relevant agencies, on a per-volume and per-vessel basis to eliminate discrepancies in import and consumption data. …