The Insular Oil Co. became the third oil firm to comply with the government policy aimed to stop oil smuggling.
The Subic-based oil company followed suit in the nationwide implementation of the Fuel Marking Program when it conducted its first marking activity Wednesday, a few days following the marking procedure on petroleum products of Seaoil Philippines Inc. and Unioil Petroleum Philippines Inc. in Batangas and Bataan, respectively.
Customs and Finance department officials and representatives from Switzerland-based SICPA and SGS Philippines tested an estimated 8,213,636 liters of Mogas Ron 92 Gasoline onboard MT Grand Ace 11 from Guangdong, China at the fuel terminal facility of Pure Petroleum Corporation Subic.
The dosing of the petroleum products was done by adding the official marker inside storage tanks where the petroleum products stored.
As the third stakeholder in the petroleum industry complies with the new policy, all other players are expected to follow soon before the end of the washout period in January 2020.
The Customs bureau is hoping to accelerate the marking of petroleum products stored, transported and peddled as the field testing phase of the program is fast approaching.
By Feb. 3, 2020, testing of fuel in the retail side as well as enforcement actions will commence. Gasoline, diesel and kerosene found to be unmarked will be seized, and penalties will be imposed against those storing, transporting, importing or peddling unmarked fuel.
Customs deputy commissioner for enforcement Teddy Raval advised retailers to only buy and sell marked fuel “to avoid violation and possible penalties including criminal prosecution.”
Enforcement action in February against non-compliant petroleum products and companies will entail corresponding penalties such as seizure of petroleum products, conveyances such as vessels or tank trucks and closure of premises.
To implement the Program, the bureau issued Customs Memorandum Order 43-2019 implementing BOC-DOF-BIR Joint Circular No. 001-2019. The CMO provides the guidelines for the implementation of the program in relation to importation of petroleum products subject for marking.
“The implementation of the Fuel Marking Program is a milestone for the Bureau of Customs as well as the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the Department of Finance, as we have painstakingly worked together ensure the success of the Program. With the cooperation and support of partner agencies and stakeholders, we are ready to implement the Fuel Marking program and make it work,” said Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero.