THE customs agencies of the Philippines and China have agreed to set up a data exchange system to facilitate the timely sharing of trade information and aid them in their respective campaigns against smuggling and tax evasion.
Bureau of Customs (BOC) Deputy Commissioner Edward James Dy Buco reported during a recent Executive Committee (Execom) meeting of the Department of Finance (DOF) that the agency also requested from its counterpart in China several data on Chinese commodity imports and exports to the Philippines between the years 2015 and 2017, monthly or quarterly export and import data of China to the Philippines by commodity for 2018; and export data on all shipments going to the Philippines and manifest of vessels carrying cargoes bound for the Philippines.
The request for information was in compliance with the directive of Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to Commissioner Isidro Lapeña for the BOC to check the narrowing but still significant gap between China’s registered export volumes to the Philippines and data on Philippine imports from China officially reported here.
Following Dominguez’s directive, Lapeña visited Beijing on Feb. 8-10 to personally discuss with officials of the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) the Philippines’ concerns over these trade discrepancies.
During their meeting, the GACC officials led by Deputy Director General Zou Zhiwu, of the General Administration of China Customs, expressed China’s support for the Philippines’ anti-smuggling efforts and agreed on the designation of focal persons between the two countries. (PR)