Warehouses Raided by Philippine Tax Bureau, 63,139 Vape Products Seized

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Warehouses Raided by Philippine Tax Bureau, 63,139 Vape Products Seized
Philippine tax bureau director Romeo D. Lumagui Jr. leads a raid on warehouses suspected of illegal e-cigarette sales.

According to a report from a Filipino media outlet, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Internal Revenue in the Philippines, Romeo D. Lumagui Jr., stated that the bureau conducted raids on three warehouses in Manila and Quezon City suspected of illegally selling e-cigarette products. During the operation, the bureau seized 63,139 e-cigarette products, with an estimated tax loss of 1.511 billion Philippine pesos (approximately $2.67 million).


Director Luma Gui reminds businesses in the e-cigarette industry:


Please register your e-cigarette business, we will provide support. Pay the necessary consumption tax for e-cigarette products, and we will also offer assistance. The search and confiscation of e-cigarette merchants and products are the result of your failure to register and pay taxes. The tax authorities will assist all e-cigarette businesses in completing registration and tax payment, and we will provide guidance throughout the process.


In order to combat tax evasion on taxable goods such as e-cigarette products, the tax authorities are prioritizing them for enforcement.


In February 2024, the tax authorities issued a statement confirming the successful prosecution of the Tap Fog smuggling case involving e-cigarettes. The tax authorities won the case in the Department of Justice, leading to the filing of a tax evasion case involving 120 million Philippine pesos against the company. Following the success of the case, the court issued arrest warrants for the Tap Fog syndicate. Earlier this year, on March 11, 2024, the tax authorities seized 102,900 units of Flava brand e-cigarette products at a warehouse in Laguna.


The individuals involved in the recent incident at the three warehouses in Manila and Riyadh will face criminal and civil litigation as stipulated by domestic tax laws. They have violated various provisions related to declaring and paying value-added taxes on sales of goods or property, domestic product consumption taxes, import goods consumption taxes, tobacco products, heated tobacco products, e-cigarette products, inspection fees, civil fines, interest, attempting to evade or reduce taxes, unlawfully possessing or disposing of goods subject to consumption taxes that have not been paid, and other related charges.


Director Lumagu reminded that as long as your e-cigarette store is registered in compliance with the regulations and you pay taxes as required, your business will not be affected by the tax authorities' upcoming inspections. The tax authorities are willing to provide assistance and guidance to businesses that wish to legally sell e-cigarettes.


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