By Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan, Reporter
THE DISCREPANCY between trade data as reported by the Philippines and its trading partners declined after the implementation of the national single window system, the Department of Finance (DoF) said.
“A comparison between trade data reported in the IMF (International Monetary Fund) Direction of Trade Statistics and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) shows that trade data discrepancy declined from 40.8% in 2015 to 33.1% in 2017,” the DoF said in an economic bulletin on Friday.
The PSA had reported $66.96 billion worth of exports in 2017, but this was lower than the import data recorded by its trading partners of $88.60 billion, with a variance of 41.6%.
The discrepancy was lower than the 53.3% in 2016, but was slightly higher than the 40.8% recorded in 2015.
Import data reported by the PSA was $102 billion in 2017, below trading partners’ reported exports worth $121.55 billion, with a 27.5% variance.
The discrepancy grew slightly from 27% in the previous year, but was lower than the 40.9% posted in 2015.
The DoF said among the causes of data discrepancy are smuggling, valuation differences, differing treatment of re-exports and transshipment, wrong attribution, and misinvoicing.
“The drop in trade discrepancy data indicates the upgraded capability of tax collectors to assess and collect properly tax revenues from taxpayers,” the DoF said.
“Automation of trade processes thru the TradeNet which will go live (in) December 2018 will further reduce trade data discrepancy, improve revenue collectors’ capabilities and at the same time, facilitate trade,” it added.
TradeNet, the country’s national single window system for Customs transactions and required clearances, was launched in December last year. It also links to the single window platforms of other Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.
The government had initially linked 16 government agencies in TradeNet, covering frequently-traded goods such as rice, sugar, used motor vehicles, some chemicals, frozen meat, medicines and cured tobacco. This will be expanded to 66 agencies dealing with external trade.
The DoF said last year that China was among the largest sources of trade data discrepancies, with a gap of P1.8 trillion between the volume of exports reported by China and the volume of imports reported locally.