THE Bureau of Customs (BoC) said it collected P247.369 million in additional revenue after conducting post-clearance audits in January and February.

In a statement Tuesday, the BoC said the additional revenue was collected by its Post Clearance Audit Group (PCAG), which is expected to collect about P6.9 billion this year. It has issued 11 final demand letters resulting from the audits that remain unpaid.

The BoC said the fresh revenue was collected following investigations of importers suspected of committing violations when they brought in their goods.

In January and February, the BoC issued six outstanding final demand letters. It also received 48 applications for its Prior Disclosure Program (PDP), which allows importers to voluntarily report minor errors in the declaration and payment of duties and taxes for correction.

Applications for the program included 31 from mechanically deboned meat importers involving shipments worth P67.597 million, and 13 from rice importers involving goods worth P6.741 million.

The BoC issued 28 audit notification letters in January and February, including 17 coffee importers and 10 in the oil and petroleum sector.

The BoC launched post-audit clearance operations in February 2019, along with the PDP, as authorized by the issue of Customs Administrative Order No. 01-2019.

The PCAG has 60 days to conduct an audit — the actual examination, verification and investigation of financial records and declarations. A final audit report is due within 120 days, along with a demand letter or clean report, as warranted.

The BoC is the second-largest source of government revenue. It generated P46.145 billion in duties and taxes in February, exceeding the target by 9.5% and the year-earlier total by 3%, according to Treasury estimates. — Beatrice M. Laforga