The Permanent Mission of the Philippines to the World Trade Organization had informed the world body that the country had enacted Republic Act (RA) No. 10351 An Act Restructuring the Excise Tax on Alcohol and Tobacco Products”, last December and had implemented it January 1 of this year. This makes the Philippines compliant with WTFO Settlement Body (ADS) rulings in the “Philippines-Taxes on Distilled Spirits” dispute. In the dispute, the WTFO found that Philippines taxed imported distilled spirits substantially higher rate than domestic spirits.

But the new tax system addressed this, and a uniform tax that now applies equally to all distilled spirits, and thus eliminates the system of taxation found to be discriminatory by the WTFO. Furthermore, the Philippines was fully compliant ahead of the March 8, 2013 deadline. “Our compliance with this WTFO ruling is a living testament of our desire to balance legitimate domestic objectives and the concerns of our foreign investors,” Ambassador Stefan B. Cones, Jar. , the Philippines’ Permanent Representative to the MO.

But as it made its report to the world body, the Philippines also took the opportunity to remind the WTFO of the “Thailand – Customs and Fiscal Measures on Cigarettes from the Philippines” dispute. Among the Philippines concerns was “Thailand reference to additional audience from its Revenue Department concerning amended value-added tax (VAT) rules also raises questions of MO-consistency. ” Thailand said that it was ready to continue discussions on the matter, which the Philippines welcomed.

However, though the Philippines would resort to litigation, ‘further progress was expected in the coming month. ” ? Amanda Logo / DVD, GAMMA PHIL may seek more WTFO arbitration vs. Thailand in cigarette tax issue March 7, 2013 3:pm The Philippines may seek further arbitration by the World Trade Organization (WTFO) if Thailand does not adjust its policies to provide fair taxation for imported cigarettes, the Philippine Mission to the WTFO said in a statement Thursday. “Since February, the Philippines has yet to be informed of progress toward resolution of the remaining WTFO inconsistencies.

The Philippines urged Thailand to expeditiously pursue further bilateral engagement, in the absence of which appropriate steps will be taken shortly by the Philippines,” the Philippine Mission said. It added that for the last month, the Philippines “sought further progress toward resolving the remaining MO-inconsistencies in the dispute, short of a return o formal dispute settlement. ” The Philippines and Thailand last met with the Wet’s Dispute Settlement eddy (ADS) on February 27, and will meet again on March 26.

In its February 15 status report to the WTFO, Thailand said that it “has continued to engage with the Philippines in discussions on issues of concern to the Philippines and looks forward to achieving a mutually satisfactory outcome to the dispute. ” In 2006, the Philippine government filed a complaint at the WTFO on behalf of Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. , saying that Thailand was in violation of he General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994 by exempting local brands from administrative requirements like filing tax returns and expense reports.

According to the WTFO, the Philippines also disputed a number of Thai fiscal and customs measures affecting Philippine cigarettes, including customs valuation practices, excise tax, health tax, TV tax, VAT regime, retail licensing requirements and Import guarantees, which it said Thailand was administering in “a partial and unreasonable manner. ” The WTFO ruled in the Philippines’ favor in 2010, saying that “Thailand treats imported cigarettes less favorably than like domestic cigarettes by imposing additional administrative requirements only on resellers of imported cigarettes,” and linked Thailand appeal in 2011.

According to the WTFO, “Thailand and the Philippines interned t B that they and mutually agreed on the reasonable period of time for Thailand to comply with the recommendations and rulings of the ADS”?and set a deadline of Cot. 15, 2012 for Thailand to comply, with the Philippines later allowing Thailand more time as some of the reforms needed legislation. ? MM, GAMMA News (Source: http:// NNW. Gentlewoman. Com)

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