BOC exceeds 2023 collection target

By Anna Leah Gonzales

January 9, 2024, 2:22 pm

MANILA – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) collected PHP883.624 billion last year, surpassing its PHP874.16 billion target by 1.08 percent, the Department of Finance (DOF) said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the DOF said the BOC's collections last year were also higher by 2.46 percent than the PHP862.41 billion collected in 2022.

“I commend the BOC for its outstanding performance in 2023. In 2024, expect the Bureau to continue modernizing its customs administration and processes to effectively curb illicit trade, generate more revenues to fund the government’s priority development projects, ensure the protection of our consumers, and enhance the country’s ease of doing business,” Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno said.

Collections of the Post Clearance Audit Group increased by 6.43 percent to PHP1.959 billion from a year ago.

Meanwhile, 91.56 percent of the total additional revenue was collected from Prior Disclosure Program (PDP) Applications, while PHP166.286 million came from other audit findings.

The PDP collection for 2023 is 12.58 percent higher than the collection in the same period last year.

The sale of forfeited goods conducted through public auctions also generated PHP164.503 million.

As part of its commitment to enhance trade facilitation, the BOC has digitalized 161 out of 166 customs processes, garnering a 96.99-percent digitalization rate.

The One-Stop Electronic Travel Declaration System in collaboration with the Department of Information and Communications Technology was launched on Nov. 21, 2023 to allow travelers and crew members to declare dutiable goods prior to their arrival.

The Overstaying Cargo Tracking System provides data on disposition activities, such as auction, condemnation, or donation of all overstaying containers in all ports.

The BOC also introduced the National Customs Intelligence System, a website that gathers intelligence data from various sources to enable informed decision-making analysis and more responsive policies.

Several initiatives in the pipeline include the BOC e-Pay Portal System, the e-Auction System, and the Automated Export Declaration System.

According to the DOF, the BOC strengthened border protection by pursuing criminal cases against smugglers.

As of Dec. 31, 2023, a total of 90 criminal cases have been filed before the Department of Justice, 60 of which are related to agricultural smuggling.

Among these, 56 pertain to large-scale smuggling, which violates the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act while other cases filed are on the unlawful importation of fuel (13 cases), food items (4 cases), illegal drugs (4 cases), general merchandise (4 cases), cigarettes (1 case), used clothing (1 case) and other cases (3).

In 2023, the BOC also recorded four conviction cases on the unlawful importation of general merchandise, cigarettes, and agricultural products.

BOC’s efforts last year resulted in the confiscation of PHP43.295 billion worth of smuggled commodities.

As part of the BOC’s monitoring efforts and post-evaluation of importers and brokers, the Bureau revoked the accreditation of 118 importers and 46 customs brokers found to be in violation of the provisions stipulated in the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. (PNA)