• April 21, 2024

Economic Zone Probes Cigarette Companies

 Economic Zone Probes Cigarette Companies
Image: Tobacco Reporter archive

The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) are investigating two unnamed PEZA-registered cigarette manufacturers, reports the Manila Bulletin.

The manufacturers were allegedly “found to be deficient in compliance with BIR registration requirements for cigarette manufacturers.”

“PEZA continues with its own investigation into this matter and had earlier withheld import shipments of these enterprises until a Writ of Preliminary Injunction was issued by the Court,” a statement read.

PEZA stated that “other cigarette manufacturers registered with PEZA engage [in] best practices, such as JT [Japan Tobacco] International Asia Manufacturing Corp.” PEZA also stated it will apply its own rules and regulations relating to potential penalties against the manufacturers. “This is distinct and different from whatever penalties BIR may impose upon these enterprises.”

“Along with BIR and BOC [Bureau of Customs], PEZA vows to strengthen, integrate monitoring, compliance systems and processes in our economic zones to prevent smuggling, promote efficient tax collection, preserve investors’ cooperation, and maintain their trust and confidence in the government’s policies and processes,” noted Charito “Ching” Plaza, PEZA’s director general. The organization will coordinate with the Philippine National Police, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, local government units and other agencies.