The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has placed under its custody a domestic shipping vessel over issues on taxes and Custom duties during a joint operation with the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao at the Hijo Port in Tagum City.
Based on the policy, an inert chemical is being added to the fuel after payment of Customs duties and taxes. The inert chemical serves as a marker that is detected in tests.
In the case of the fuel inside the domestic shipping vessel in Tagum City, the BOC said field and confirmatory laboratory tests confirmed the absence of the marker.
"Hearings have been set to give the owners of the vessel carrying the unmarked fuel an opportunity to challenge the alleged violations," the statement read.
"Pending the hearings' decision, the Bureau has custody of the vessel and its 1,944,120,000 liters of fuel," it added.
The BOC said the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao has been assisting the BOC-Port of Davao in guarding the vessel and its cargo since Nov. 29.
Fuel owners face alleged violations of the Department of Finance-Bureau of Customs-Bureau of Internal Revenue Joint Circular 001-2021 and Section 13 of Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) No. 43-2019 "Treatment of Unmarked Fuel, Diluted Marked Fuel or Containing Fraudulent Marker."