BIR steps up monitoring of cigarette production

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) plans to install electronic scanners in all cigarette factories to monitor the volume of their production and thus enable the government to collect the right amount of specific and ad valorem taxes from the manufacturers, it was learned yesterday.

BIR officials said the plan to install the scanners is aimed at curbing the illicit production of cigarettes and their diversion to the black market to evade payment of taxes.

“It is also in compliance with the mandate of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) of which the Philippines is a signatory,” said a revenue official.

The FCTC requires member-countries to apply a trace system in monitoring the production and movement of cigarette products.

Basically, the scheme involves the setting up of automated production counters in every production line so that the manufacturing and removal of cigarette products are monitored accurately without human intervention.

Revenue officials said the system has been successfully adopted in various countries like in Brazil where the rampant diversion of cigarette products to the black market was eventually curbed.


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