Gov’t starts marking tax-paid fuel products

The Department of Finance (DOF) and its attached agencies Bureau of Customs (BOC) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) started implementing on Friday the fuel marking program.

The government conducted the “first live marking of petroleum” products at Seaoil Bulk Terminal in Mabini, Batangas, according to the Customs bureau.

The program aims to plug revenue leakages from oil smuggling by placing a molecular marker on imported, manufactured, and refined petroleum products such as gasoline, diesel, and kerosene.

Under Section 148-A of the National Internal Revenue Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 10963 or the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) and DOF-BOC-BIR Joint Circular No. 001.2019, stocktaking must be done for all tax paid gasoline, diesel, and kerosene stored in all depots and terminals.

In the next few months, the BOC, BIR and SICPA-SGS will conduct random field testing on depots, tank trucks, and retail stations to determine the presence and dilution level of the fuel marker on fuels that have been marked, Customs said.

Swiss-based SICPA SA and local partner SGA Philippines bagged the contract to provide fuel marking and monitoring services under the program.

Fuel marking will continue until the market is saturated with marked fuels, the BOC said.

“A confirmatory testing will be conducted immediately on fuels found to be unmarked or with marker levels below the prescribed dilution level and corresponding duties and taxes will be collected from oil companies found to have unmarked or diluted fuels,” Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said.

“The implementation of the Fuel Marking Program is a milestone for the Bureau of Customs as well as the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Department of Finance, as we have painstakingly worked together in order to ensure the success of the Program.”

“With the cooperation and support of partner agencies and stakeholders, we are ready to implement the Fuel Marking program and make it work,” Guerrero added.