Last week, the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI) officially junked the provisional safeguard duties for imported vehicles. This means that automakers will no longer have to pay between PHP 70,000 to PHP 110,000 for every imported passenger car or light commercial vehicle, respectively.

This also meant that the cash bonds the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has been collecting will have to be returned to the automakers immediately. As a result, car companies are now in the process of refunding them to the customers that paid the provisional safeguard.

Automakers such as Nissan Philippines Inc, Isuzu Philippines Corporation, and Toyota Motor Philippines, have already announced their intent to refund the safeguard bonds (SG) that customers previously deposited. The latest car company to join the refunding process is Suzuki Philippines.

In a Facebook post last week, Suzuki announced that they have discontinued the collection of security deposits on their car sales. The company also said they will be returning the SG bonds that customers deposited previously once the BOC has directed the refund. The dealers will then contact concerned customers for the schedule and process of their refund claim.

But how will Suzuki return the money to their customers? Like what Isuzu did, Suzuki collected each SG bond as a special cash deposit separate from the suggested retail price (SRP). Each customer had to pay PHP 78,400 (PHP 70,000 + 12% VAT) and was issued a BIR-registered acknowledgment receipt by the dealers.

For customers to get their money back from the deposit, all they have to do is present the special receipt, together with other documents that the dealer will request upon refund. Customers that bought the APV, Celerio, XL7, Ertiga, Swift, and Vitara while the provisional safeguard was in effect can expect to get refunds from their respective dealers soon.

So for those that are looking to contact a Suzuki dealership to ask for a refund, please be patient as the automaker is already in the process of returning the SG bond they collected before.