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About Bureau of Customs

Bureau of Customs (BOC) is a government agency that enhances trade facilitation and improves the collection of lawful revenues. The agency is based in Manila, Philippines.

Bureau of Customs Headquarter Location

16th Street South Harbor G/F OCOM Building



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Latest Bureau of Customs News

Govt collects ₧6.6B fromJan-April rice import tariffs

May 15, 2022

RICE import tariffs collected in the first four months of the year reached P6.6 billion, the Department of Finance (DOF) said. In a statement over the weekend, the DOF said the amount collected by the Bureau of Customs (BoC) is already equivalent to two-thirds of the P10 billion that was earmarked annually for the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) that was created under Republic Act 11203 or the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL). The DOF statement also pointed out that one of the key benefits of the RTL is the “flow of billions of pesos in funds to the agriculture sector” through the creation of RCEF. The DOF said RCEF is used exclusively to finance programs that will “sharpen” the competitiveness of palay growers by providing them with the following: easy access to fertilizer, farm machinery and equipment, high-yield seeds and cheap credit; and, skills training programs on farm mechanization and modern farming techniques. Under the RTL, all import duties collected from rice imports beginning March 5, 2019 go to the RCEF and other agriculture modernization programs. Interestingly, the DOF issued the statement days after international debt watcher Fitch Ratings warned against amending the RTL. The latter is something that presidential frontrunner Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. previously said he intends to pursue to make the measure more farmer-friendly and to stop the country’s too much dependence on rice imports. Fitch said amending the law could not only curb rice imports and push up rice prices but could also “hurt” the government’s tax revenue. It also reiterated that “a reversal of tax reforms that leads to sustained higher fiscal deficits could also result in a rating downgrade.” To recall, Fitch in February this year kept the country’s investment-grade rating at “BBB” amid lingering disruptions caused by the pandemic on the economy but it retained its “negative” outlook on the affirmed rating. A negative outlook means the rating could be subject to a downgrade if economic indicators in the country start to deteriorate in the policy horizon of about 12 to 18 months. Lagging per capita income and governance, weak government revenue mobilization and sharp rise in the government’s debt-to-GDP ratio were among the flagged indicators in the country. President Duterte signed the RTL into law on February 14, 2019. The law, which later took effect on March 5, 2019, replaced rice import quantitative restrictions with tariffs. Since the implementation of RTL in 2019, the DOF has since said the measure paved the way for lower rice prices. Average price of regular-milled rice as of April this year went down to P39.13 per kg from the retail price of P46.04 per kg in 2018 before the RTL took effect, the DOF said. “The Rice Tariffication Law was finally achieved after more than thirty years of failed attempts under previous administrations. The law opened up the Philippine rice market and, in turn, reduced the price of our country’s staple food for more than 100 million Filipinos,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said. As a result of this reform, which he first proposed three decades ago when he was Agriculture Secretary, rice is no longer a main contributor to inflation, Dominguez said. “It took the strong political will of the President for rice tariffication to finally happen for the benefit of our consumers,” he added. By making rice affordable through RTL, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) also projects that the proportion of malnourished children and population at risk of hunger in the country would be reduced by 2.8 percent and 15.4 percent, respectively. These estimates are equivalent to around 2.1 million less people at risk of hunger and malnutrition, the NEDA said. However, some rice industry groups have lamented that the RTL led to a drop in farmers’ income for the past three years of its implementation as farm-gate prices plunged to as low as P7 per kilogram in certain provinces in the country.

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    Bureau of Customs's headquarters is located at 16th Street South Harbor, Manila.

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