THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) has seized 14 high-end cars at the Port of Batangas on Wednesday that were undervalued.
The shipment included a unit each of McLaren 450C, Land Rover LR2, Toyota Prado, and 2015 Ferrari California; two units of Land Rover Defender 90, Mercedez Benz C200, and Mercedez Benz GLK350; and 4 units Toyota Land Cruiser GX.
Customs Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement Ariel Nepomuceno said the vehicles arrived at the Batangas Port last week from the United Arab Emirates, Japan, and Hong Kong, and were consigned to Monacat Trading.
“There are car importers who misdeclare or undervalue their importations because of the costly dues and taxes attached to cars being imported. We cannot afford to lose millions of taxes due to technical smuggling. That is why the Bureau has intensified its campaign against illegal importation of vehicles,” Nepomuceno said in a statement.
“The consignee, based on our documents, declared the vehicles for P24-million pesos as the total import value, when in fact the total cost of all fourteen vehicles is roughly P50-million pesos,” he added.
Nepomuceno said the importer could face charges of Violation of Section 2503 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines.
In accordance with Customs laws, technical smuggling happens when there is an erroneous declaration of imported items in order to escape the proper payment of duties and taxes.
Nepomuceno noted that the Enforcement Group was able to stop the release of the shipment.
“They were already on their way out of the port. Duties and taxes were paid already and gate pass was issued,” the BOC official added.