After the Tariff Commission (TC) released their report indicating that there was no basis for a provisional safeguard for certain imported vehicles, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) subsequently released DAO 21-04 to put a end to it.

That came as welcome news not just to the many Philippine importers, distributors and dealers, but to many customers because that meant a big refund. If the vehicle was covered by the imposition of the SG bond, for pick-up truck buyers that would mean a refund of PHP 110,000 (plus VAT) while passenger car, MPV and even SUV buyers will get PHP 70,000 (plus VAT).

But it isn't just about going to the dealer with a receipt and asking for the money (in the form of the “Security Deposit”) back. The SG bond would have been with government already, and anyone who has ever had to refund any amount from a government office would know that there is a very strict and requirement-laden process to do so. The last thing said government office wants is to be checked by the Commission on Audit (COA) for any, uh, deficiency.

In the case of the SG refund what everyone has been waiting for is an order from the Bureau of Customs (BOC); they were the ones tasked to collect the provisional safeguard bond at the port warehouses for those vehicles. That is what the industry has been waiting for, and now the BOC has released Customs Memorandum Order (CMO) 28-2021 which outlines the process for the return of the bond.

The CMO basically reiterates that the SG collected “should be immediately returned to the concerned importer/s”. What the CMO says is that the ports have to “order or recommend” the return of the funds, and that they should transmit that order/recommendation to the Office of the Commissioner of the BOC.

The documentation requirements for it to move forward is as follows:

1) Statement of Refund duly signed by the District Collector

2) SAD/IEIRD (Single Administrative Document / Import Entry and Internal Revenue Declaration)

3) Proof of Payment

4) BCOR Processing Fee (Bureau of Customs Official Receipt)

5) Certificate of No Outstanding Obligation

6) Recommendation/Order from the Port

7) Endorsement to Financial Management Office (FMO)

8) Certification from the FMO that the cash bond was deposited to a Trust Fund or to the Account of the Bureau, whichever is applicable, and the details pertinent thereto.

The order was signed by BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero.

Of course that is what will go on behind the scenes; customers will not have to concern themselves with those requirements. Once completed and the funds have been returned to the car companies/importers/dealers then they will start contacting customers for the return of the safeguard bond.

If you like to read government memoranda, we've attached the document trail from the DTI's DAO, the Trade Secretary's letter to the Finance Secretary, and the Finance Secretary's letter to the Customs Commissioner, as well as the BOC's CMO.

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