November 29, 2016
The Philippine agriculture department said it is considering imposing a 35% tariff on offal imports to discourage technical smuggling of pork products.
Noting a "big discrepancy" between the meat-importation data of the UN and the Philippine Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol noted that meat smugglers tend to misdeclare imported meat products to avoid paying the 35% tariff on pork. Imported pork offal is slapped a tariff of only 5% to 10%.
"The DA (Department of Agriculture) is forming a technical working group that will study this and will make recommendations. The data that I saw really showed that there's technical smuggling," Piñol said in a recent news briefing, according to the local newspaper Business Mirror.
Piñol said the discrepancy showed a bigger volume of offal than good meat, leading to the suspicion of technical smuggling.
"To address this once and for all, we will consider the cancellation of special tariff on offal, and impose uniform 35-percent tariff on all meat products imported to the country," Piñol was quoted as saying.
Pork offal includes the slaughtered pig's ears, feet, tail, heart, tongue, thick skirts, thin skirts, caul, throat, thymus gland, kidneys, lungs, brain, pancreas, spleen, spinal cord and other parts discarded after the processing of meat cuts.
Data showed that the Philippines imported 76,732.777 tonnes of pork offal in the first eight months, or 15.31% higher than the 66,544.216 tonnes recorded in the same period last year.