PILIPINAS Shell Petroleum Corp. (PSPC) said it will resume its importations after the Bureau of Customs (BOC) through the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) officially accepted the P7.35 billion security bond they posted for the unpaid back taxes.

Roberto Kanapi, Shell’s vice president for Communications, said “with this development, we can now bring in our products into the refinery and this will ensure continuity of supply.”

For updates from around the country, follow Sun.Star on Twitter

“The interim arrangement between the Government and Pilipinas Shell provides a positive resolution, thus, averting a shortage in oil supply that would have adversely affected the public and the economy,” Kanapi added.

During the hearing Tuesday, Presiding Justice Ernesto Acosta said that the CTA will just look into the compliance with the pertinent Supreme Court Circular on the filing of the surety bond.

The agreement was a result of discussions between the company and the Executive Department in order to avert any negative public consequences, particularly resulting fuel supply shortages with earlier threats by the BOC to seize or hold Pilipinas Shell’s incoming imports.

The OSG Manifestation conveyed the BOC’s decision not to seize or hold Pilipinas Shell’s importations while the case is being heard and until the issue on Pilipinas Shell’s excise tax liability is resolved with finality.

“We would like to reiterate our gratitude, most especially to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, as well as Solicitor General Alberto Agra, Secretary Margarito Teves, Secretary Angelo Reyes and Secretary Peter Favila, who have been instrumental in forging an agreement between the Government and Pilipinas Shell, that will be implemented during the pendency of the tax case,” Kanapi further added.

Pilipinas Shell said they will now resume its product and crude oil importations that are necessary to supply nearly 30 percent of the market thus, preventing any supply disruption.

As of February 9, 2010, Shell ceased its importation of the catalytic cracked gasoline (CCG) and light catalytic cracked gasoline (LCCG) due to threats of the BOC’s seizure.

CCG and LCCG are being used to process unleaded gasoline and other fuel products that are being sold in to the market by Shell.

Shell is disputing the P7.35 billion in back taxes that the BOC is charging them and claiming that paying this will result in double taxation.

The unpaid back taxes includes the year 2004 up to 2009.

The legal merits of the case will continue to be heard by the CTA to determine the issues of “double taxation” and whether Pilipinas Shell's import CCG and LCCG are raw materials and should not be subject to excise taxes. (MSN/Sunnex)