Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Govt to install fuel-marking systems to curb oil smuggling

The government is taking its drive against oil smuggling a notch higher with a fuel-marking system to be established in three major ports in the country by November.

The fuel marking system will be implemented in the ports of Subic Bay and Batangas, and at the Clark special economic zone to curb rampant oil smuggling.

Bureau of Customs Commissioner Napoleon L Morales said Swiss inspection services provider Societe Generale de Surveillance (SGS) has been tapped to provide the fuel marking technology for oil products. SGS, for its part, has teamed up with British firm, Authentix, for the three-month trial of a system which is unique to the Philippines. SGS and Authentix have fuel marking systems installed in Tanzania, Kenya, India, and in other parts of Asia.

Morales said the costs of the fuel marking technology is shouldered by the Independent Philippine Petroleum Companies Association.

The government is estimated to be losing as much as P9.5 billion in potential revenues annually due to the smuggling of oil products to the country, P7 billion of which are excise tax payments and the rest are import duties.

Finance Secretary Margarito B Teves earlier ordered an inquiry on the discrepancy between oil import data from the Bureau of Customs and the National Statistics Office. - GMANews.TV

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