July 19, 2018, 5:54 am
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TF vs smuggled cigarettes formed

The Bureau of Internal Revenue has created a task force to address cigarette smuggling.

Caesar Dulay, BIR chief, said  tobacco companies   PMFTC Inc. and Japan Tobacco International Philippines have reported  “substantial” volumes of smuggled cigarettes are in the market based on their monitoring.

“We’re coordinating with the Bureau of Customs (BOC). We have also feedback  there are some manufacturers (of counterfeit cigarettes), and the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) and (the) police have conducted some raids,”  Dulay said on the sidelines of the income tax filing deadline monitoring in Quezon City yesterday.

Dulay said  most of the smuggled cigarettes can be found in provinces.

“If it has no tax stamp, that’s P32  less in the market. I hear a pack of legitimate cigarettes will cost P65, P60. If that’s fake (or smuggled), they can sell it for P30, half the price,” Dulay said.

Last week, the BOC intercepted at one of the Manila ports a 40-footer container of misdeclared cigarettes estimated to be worth P18.5 million.

The shipment  was declared as 890 cartons of industrial artificial fur texture but upon examination it was discovered to contain 914 cartons of cigarette brands Jackpot, Fortune, John, Marvels, and U2, according to Isidro Lapeña, customs commissioner.

On April 10, agents from X-ray Inspection Project found irregularities on the x-ray image, prompting recommendation to alert the said shipment. 

The shipment will undergo seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 1400 ( Misdeclaration, Misclassification, and Undervaluation in Goods Declaration) of Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act .

Lapena said  the accreditation of the importer and customs broker involved in the shipment will be revoked or suspended accordingly.
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