Fuel marking scheme raises P45 billion in Q3

Fuel marking scheme raises P45 billion in Q3

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs collected nearly P45 billion in taxes from marking a total of 4.31 billion liters of fuel in the third quarter, improving its oversight on imported oil as part of efforts to eliminate misdeclaration and smuggling.

The Customs yesterday reported it raised P44.57 billion from fuel marking in the third quarter as it intensified its activities in forcing industry players to comply with the demands of the program.

For instance, the Customs, along with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), seized 6,357 liters of unmarked diesel in a Petromobil pump station in Arayat, Pampanga during a field testing.

According to the Customs, fuel markers serve as identifiers that BIR and Customs officers look for when carrying out field testing to determine the presence of illicit petroleum. As such, the agency looks at the program as a way to level the playing field for industry players and generate income for the government as well.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez on Monday said the BIR and Customs have collected a total of P299.27 billion from 30.54 billion liters of fuel as of Oct. 8. Customs accounted for at least 90 percent of the amount at P269.49 billion, while BIR chipped in the remaining 10 percent at P29.78 billion.

By segment, the Customs and BIR assessed 18.62 billion liters of diesel and 11.75 billion liters of gasoline, including 163.63 million liters of kerosene.

Further, Dominguez said over 73 percent of the volume at 22.36 billion liters was taken from oil firms in Luzon, while industry players in Mindanao and Visayas made up the other 27 percent at 6.51 billion liters and 1.67 billion liters, respectively.

Petron Corp. contributed the largest share of more than 23 percent, or 7.13 billion liters, among fuel enterprises, followed by Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corp.’s 5.72 billion liters and Unioil Petroleum Philippines Inc.’s 3.14 billion liters.

The government marks petroleum products in compliance with the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion Law. It rolled out the program on Sept. 4, 2019, to eliminate smuggling and misdeclaration of fuel and improve the tax take.

The Customs and BIR apply a chemical identifier on fuel to determine which product has paid the taxes. If a product contains less than 95 percent of the marker level, its owner will be ordered to pay the duties, with additional fines.