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Bureau of Customs Clarifies COA Findings on Trust Funds

Following the recent Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM) of the Commission on Audit (COA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) clarified that all necessary justifications have already been forwarded and discussed with COA on May 26, 2021, relative to the initial findings on trust funds and importations on regulated commodities.

In response to audit findings of unremitted trust receipts and unspent funds, the BOC โ€“ Accounting Division explained that non-remittance of Trust Funds are allowed under applicable laws, rules and regulations of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Special Provisions of BOC General Appropriations Act FY 2020, Republic Act No. 10863 or Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, and position of Bureau of Treasury in the maintenance of MICP Collection of Trust Accounts.

The Division also clarified that during the COA-BOC Dialogue Conference held on March 17, 2021 it was made clear that only the Collections of Trust Liabilities- Informersโ€™ Reward is to be directly remitted to the account of BTr, and for the remaining Trust Accounts, all idle/excess balances from prior years shall be determined and remitted to the Bureau of the Treasury. To this effect, BOC issued on January 21, 2021 a Memorandum submitting the list of Cash Bond Claimants to which all Collection Districts complied and accomplished on January 29, 2021.

The BOC gave its assurance that it will adhere to the recommendation to remit all excess balance of Trust Accounts. To this effect, the Accounting Division has coordinated with all Collection Districts in identifying all active Trust Accounts and remit/deposit remaining dormant accounts.

Likewise, BOC also clarified that the P394.009 million worth of goods processed and released at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and Port of Manila (POM) were duly assessed with correct duties and taxes including excises properly collected.

Further, the Bureau also clarified that all the vehicle importers mentioned in the COA Report are accredited under the Super Green Lane (SGL) and members of associations of motor vehicles manufacturers and importers such as the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) and the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI). The SGL accreditation of the said importers allow them to cause the release of the shipments upon payment of assessed duties and taxes.

In addition, the commodities are not subject to government regulatory requirements and were filed under a provisional goods declaration which allows the online submission of certain commodity requirements within 45 days of filing.

Presently, continuous coordination with COA is being done by Bureau of Customs to safeguard the government’s revenue. The Bureau is also relentless in strengthening its border security measures and collection of duties and taxes significant in the nationโ€™s drive towards economic recovery.

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