Tax Digest
Volume 9,
Series 53
ATRIGs for Imported Automobiles

Authority to Release Imported Goods (ATRIGs) need to be secured before the release of imported goods under the custody of the Commissioner of Customs. Under this revenue regulation (RR), the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) provides the guidelines in securing ATRIGs for those automobiles released in the custom’s custody without ATRIGs, and clarifies the legal basis of securing the said authority.

Accordingly, the RR cited Section 131 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997 in payment of excise taxes before the release of the goods in the customhouse, to wit:

Section 131. Payment of Excise taxes on Imported Articles. – (A) Persons Liable. – Excise taxes on imported articles shall be paid by the owner or importer to the Customs Officers, conformably with the regulations of the Department of Finance and before the release of such articles from customhouse, or by the person who is found in possession of articles which are exempt from excise taxes other than those legally entitled to exemption.

Detention of the taxable article can be exercised by any revenue officer if he has a good reason to believe that the excise tax has not been paid, this right is bestowed to the revenue officer under Section 172 of the NIRC, to elucidate:

Section 172. Detention of Package Containing Taxable Articles. – Any revenue officer may detain any package containing or supposed to contain articles subject to excise tax when he has good reason to believe that the lawful tax has not been paid or that the package has been or is being removed in violation of law, and every such package shall be held liable by law to be proceeded against for forfeiture; but such detention shall not continue in any case longer than seven (7) days without due process of law or intervention of the officer to whom such detention is to be reported.

The RR reiterated the revenue regulation, circular and orders in connection with the ATRIGs for automobiles. If the imported articles are released without the required ATRIG, presumption of taxes due thereon is that of not paid or no paid properly, and such articles may be detained by any revenue officer pursuant to section 172 of the NIRC. Furthermore, if the imported articles are released without the required ATRIG, it is presumed that the taxes due thereon are not paid or not properly paid, and such articles may be detained by any revenue officer pursuant to Section 172 of the NIRC, as amended.

The regulation is lenient to those imported automobiles released without previously securing ATRIG, it states that ATRIGS may still be issued until March 31, 2016; provided, that an application for ATRIG should have been filed with the Excise LT Regulatory Division (ELTRD) and that the excise and value added taxes due thereon are paid within the same period.

Finally, all imported automobiles found to have been released from the customs custody after March 31, 2016 without the required ATRIG shall be subjected to seizure pursuant to Section 172, 263 and 268 (C) of the NIRC, as amended.

Revenue Regulations No. 2-2016, March 4, 2016
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