Joint Team of BOC and BIR to Start Field Testing Enforcement on April 26

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) has announced its intention to begin Field Testing Enforcement activities on gasoline, diesel, and kerosene found in warehouses, storage tanks, gas stations, other retail outlets, and in such other properties, not containing the required Fuel Marker level beginning April 26, 2021, Monday. Vessels, tank trucks, and similar fuel transporting vehicles will also be covered by the enforcement activities.

Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act, petroleum products found without the Official Fuel Marker or not containing the required level of the Official Fuel Marker are subject to payment of duties and taxes, as well as appropriate fines and penalties. The payment thereof is without prejudice to the confiscation and forfeiture of such Unmarked or Diluted Fuel and the filing of the appropriate criminal case.

The Field Testing process will be done using Mobile Laboratory Units equipped with analyzers capable of detecting the Official Fuel Marker’s presence in any fuel sample. The test result will be generated on-site and will indicate a pass or fail result. Products with failed results will be subjected to Confirmatory Testing in the Fuel Testing Facility. For purposes of transparency, the owner of the fuel or his representative will be allowed to witness the Field and Confirmatory Testing.

The two Bureaus began the Transitory Field Testing activities in February this year and will continue until April 26, 2021. Under the Transitory Field Testing, sample fuels from retail stations and tank trucks in NCR and nearby provinces were tested to determine the marker levels in the fuel supply available in the domestic market. The activity is in line with Section 13 of the Department of Finance (DOF), Bureau of Customs (BOC), and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Joint Circular 001.2021, which prescribes the implementing guidelines for Field Testing under the Fuel Marking Program.

The Fuel Marking Program aims to raise revenues while curbing fuel smuggling and leveling the Philippine oil industry’s playing field. Beginning its implementation in September 2019 to December 2020, the BOC and BIR marked a total of 17.55 billion liters of fuel and have collected Php171.72 billion in duties and taxes under the program.