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Payment of customs duties

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The Bureau of Customs (BOC) said customs duties and taxes should have been paid for the more than 50 seized luxury vehicles that the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) withdrew from the Free Zones and donated to various beneficiaries.

This after CEZA last October 21 turned over the more than 50 impounded vehicles to the Santa Ana, Cagayan local government, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

BOC in a statement on October 23 said that applicable duties and taxes must be paid to the customs agency before the withdrawal of imported goods from the Free Zones.

BOC Assessment and Operations Coordinating Group deputy commissioner Atty. Edward James Dy Buco said the customs bureau has created a legal team to coordinate with CEZA on the payment of the applicable duties and taxes.

Of the 50 cars, which had been seized at the Port of Irene in Cagayan, 18 were donated to PNP-Cagayan, seven to the AFP, another seven to the Santa Ana local government unit, and 18 to the villages in Santa Ana.

CEZA administrator and chief executive officer Raul Lambino had said the donation was in compliance with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte.

BOC noted that Section 4 of Republic Act No. 7916, otherwise known as the Special Economic Zone Act of 1995, states that the movement of imported goods from a free trade area to a non-free trade area in the country shall be subject to import duties.

Moreover, under Customs Administrative Order No. 11-2019, pursuant to Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), all applicable duties, taxes and other charges on goods introduced into the Customs territory from the Free Zones shall be paid to BOC before the goods are released from custody, subject to the prior requirement of Authority to Release Imported Goods (ATRIG) for certain goods.

Dy said BOC will recommend to the Finance secretary that the duties and taxes for the donated vehicles be paid by the recipients through a deferred payment scheme pursuant to applicable memorandums.

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