The Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) has been requesting and waiting from the Bureau of Customs (BOC) a copy of the Final Assessment, said Jesus Lim Arranza, FPI chairman and concurrent chair of the FPI Anti-smuggling Committee.
Arranza explained that the Final Assessment is important to validate whether or not the concerned BOC appraisers of various monitored products have accepted the recommendations of FPI Industry Technical Experts (ITEs).
In November 19, 2010, During the First National Anti-Smuggling Summit, the BOC and FPI formalized a landmark public-private partnership (PPP) with the signing of a memorandum of agreement and the subsequent issuance of Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 01-2011.
Under CMO 1-2011, the FPI ITEs are authorized not only to assist the BOC in monitoring sensitive industrial and agricultural imported products for technical smuggling, but also watch those covered under the mandatory product standards certification scheme to protect the general consuming public.
This paved the way for FPI ITEs to successfully assist Customs personnel in preventing technical smuggling, as well as monitor imported goods covered by mandatory certification.
The federation is independently submitting a regular monthly report of the recommended duties and taxes, which the BOC may collect, particularly on the monitored products, if the ITEs recommendations were only considered. Moreover, with this data, the BOC would be able to compare the discrepancy between the FPI records vis-à-vis the actual BOC collection. In fact, for the month of November 2013 alone, the FPI-ITE recommended additional taxes and duties amounting to more than P17 million, Arranza disclosed.
Considering that the recommendations of the ITEs are merely recommendatory in nature, the federation has no way of knowing whether this has been accepted or not, because it does not have access to the final assessment.
“However, the Final Assessment is still not being shown to FPI and we do not know what is the secrecy of the final assessment,” Arranza lamented.