The 5,000 metric tons of deformed steel bars (rebars) imported by Mannage Resources Trading Corp. in April were misdeclared and undervalued, said the Philippine Iron and Steel Institute (Pisi) in a letter to Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon.
Pisi President Roberto Cola alleged Mannage used a tariff heading in its import entry declaration that was not for rebars. A misdeclaration and undervaluation of an importation is technical smuggling, which is a criminal act.
The tariff heading used by Mannage was 188.8.131.52, which has a Bureau of Customs (BOC) reference value of $340 per ton. However, the BOC reference value is $380 per ton for carbon rebar and $410 per ton for alloy rebar.
Mannage’s misdeclared tariff heading and corresponding value of $330 per ton represents a loss for government of up to P2.25 million in taxes.
Mannage, Cola said in his letter, also did not declare the specifications and grade of the steel bars as required. Cola said this is critical “in the interest of public safety and to protect government revenues.”