Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) now wants review every vehicle imported according to a new Revenue Memorandum Order No. 21-2013 issued early this week by commissioner Kim Henares. The review is via issuance of an Authority to Release Imported Goods (ATRIG) for each and every automobile regardless of net importers selling price for the purposes of Excise and Value-Added-Tax (VAT).

The order issued aims to "implement the 'one ATRIG-one automobile' policy for purposes of ensuring that the importation of automobiles are fully accounted for with the end in view that revenue collections of the government are properly protected". 

The BIR required an ATRIG so that the agency can properly ensure that the proper Excise Tax and VAT are paid on every imported vehicle subject to such taxation.

The new order released by the BIR updates Revenue Memorandum Order 35-2002 which allows consolidated applications for cases where "importation involves articles of the same kind but are covered by two or more Bill of Lading issued to the same importer under the same vessel".

Under the new RMO (21-2013): "With respect to the importation of automobiles defined under Republic Act No. 9224, one ATRIG shall be issued for each unit of automobile with a net importer’s price of over Php2,100,000.00, excluding value-added and excise taxes".

One ATRIG will be issued to every unit of automobile regardless of selling price with regards to “cases of importation having a single Bill of Lading but consisting of several automobiles with importer’s selling prices of Php2,100,000 or less and over P2,100,000”.

The agency is currently enhancing the Philippine National Single Window System on ATRIG to cover the new requirement. “A separate notarized application for ATRIG shall be filed and signed by the importer or his duly authorized representative, with the prescribed documentary stamp affixed thereon, for each and every unit of automobile pursuant to this sub-paragraph”.

In July of 2003, the government issued Republic Act 9224 which updated Section 149 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 changing the imposition of Excise Tax on automobiles from displacement-based to value-based. Under RA 9224, vehicles were taxes ad follows: Up to Php600,000 - 2%; Over Php600,000 to Php1,100,000 - Php12,000 plus 20% of value in excess of Php600,000; Over Php1,100,000 to Php2,100,000 - Php112,000 plus 40% of value in excess of Php1,100,000; Over Php2,100,000 - Php512,000 +60% of value in excess of Php2,100,000.