• The Financial District


The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has improved its valuation system particularly for rice imports and raised the tariffed value of the grain from an average of P18,178 per metric ton (MT) in January to P27,120 per MT in September, which has led to revenues of P13.08 billion in the first nine months of the year despite declining import volumes resulting from the pandemic-induced global economic slump.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III pointed out that the valuation of rice imports has increased even with the peso strengthening its value against  the dollar.

Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero reported during a recent Department of Finance (DOF) Executive Committee (Execom) meeting that this improvement was the result of the BOC paying particular attention to the classification, quantity and weight of the imports whenever rice shipments came in.

Guerrero said that for the period covering January to October 15, the average valuation of rice increased by 6.5 percent or P1,240 per MT.

Citing BOC data, Guerrero said that from an average valuation of P18, 178.86 in January per ton of rice, this assessment rate increasingly improved to P18,753.82 per ton in March, to P20,503.07 in May and to P27,120 in September.

“The collections are down because the import volumes are also down, but the average valuation—the value over volume—started to improve,” Guerrero told Dominguez during the Execom meeting.

As a result, Guerrero said the BOC was able to collect P1.29 billion in duties from 223,279 MT of rice imports in January valued at P4.058 billion based on an average valuation of P18,178.86 per MT, and collected P1.19 billion from a much lower volume of 176,768 MT, but valued at P3.55 billion in August because the average value that month was pegged at a higher P20,100.54 per MT.

Guerrero pointed out that the computerized valuation system used by the BOC is compliant with World Trade Organization (WTO) standards.

From January to September this year, the BOC already collected P13.09 billion in duties from 2 million MT of rice imports, overshooting the minimum amount of P10 billion earmarked annually for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) under Republic Act (RA) No. 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law.

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