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Marcos wants strengthened efforts vs. tobacco smuggling

Marcos wants strengthened efforts vs. tobacco smuggling

President Ferdinand ''Bongbong'' Marcos Jr. has called on the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to strengthen measures that will combat smuggling of tobacco and vape products.

During the 6th Private Sector Advisory Council-Agriculture Sector Group (PSAC-ASG) meeting in Malacañang on Wednesday, Marcos acknowledged the anti-smuggling measures of the government.

However, he sought for the intensified enforcement by the BOC and BIR.

“Enforcement and anti-smuggling and all that. You really have to beef them up and I think we’re doing that,” Marcos said.

“There will be [more efforts] with the Bureau of Customs and BIR so that we can improve performance with that regard,” he added.

For his part, BIR Commissioner Romeo Lumagui Jr. told Marcos that his agency has intensified its crackdown against smuggled vape products. He disclosed that the agency would implement a tax stamp system to determine those which are illicit.

The PSAC-ASG, on the other hand, made several recommendations and policy requirements to ensure the protection of the tobacco industry.

It also sought amendments to the Anti-Agri Smuggling Act of 2016 to include tobacco products.

The PSAC-ASG also called on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to set a deadline for the registration of importers and manufacturers of vapor products and the BIR to start imposing tax requirements on tobacco and vapor products. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News