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Philippines issues implementing rules for fuel marking program 

Philippines issues implementing rules for fuel marking program

The Philippine government has released the implementing rules for its fuel marking program which was designed to curb the rampant oil smuggling in the country.

Joint Circular (JC) 01-2019 implements the mandatory marking of refined, manufactured, or imported gasoline, diesel and kerosene in the Philippines, including those withdrawn from freeport zones to be introduced into the country, after taxes and duties have been paid.

Dated 5 July 2019, the circular was signed by Philippines Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, and Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay. It takes effect immediately after publication in a newspaper of general circulation.

Marking of fuel products, whether imported or manufactured in the Philippines, becomes mandatory five years after the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law took effect in January 2018.

The fuel marking program, which was formally launched in February, involves random field testing and confirmation on fuel required to be marked to check compliance with the mandatory marking requirement.

JC No. 01-2019 gives Philippine customs and internal revenue officers police powers to search premises, vehicles or vessels when there is probable cause or verified information that adulterated or diluted fuel is being produced or stored in the facility.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) will implement the fuel marking program, including the collection of marking fees. Under the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), as amended, BIR will collect the fuel marking fees for locally refined or manufactured petroleum, and BOC will collect the fuel marking fees for imported petroleum products.

A joint venture between Swiss-based SICPA SA and SGS Philippines has been selected as the private contractor for the fuel marking program.