THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) Port of Cebu on Tuesday collected P45.2 million in duties and taxes with the arrival of a big vessel imported by the Aboitiz Transport System Corp. from Osaka, Japan.

The ship, called Sunflower Kogane, will be renamed Superferry 20.

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The Superferry 20 will ply the Cebu-Manila route.

Aboitiz Transport is expecting the arrival of another big vessel.

The Bill of Sale, dated Feb. 22, said Aboitiz Transport bought the vessel from Diamond Ferry Co. Ltd. for US$7.5 million. The sale was signed by Akihito Okimura, Diamond Ferry president.

The vessel (Sunflower Kogane) has complete navigational equipment, life-saving apparatus and spare parts.

Collections

Port of Cebu District Collector Ronnie Silvestre said the importation of Sunflower Kogane and the second vessel will raise his office’s revenue collections for March.

Florante Ricarte, assistant assessment chief, said Aboitiz Transport is not exempt from the value-added tax because the vessel is 18 years old.

Section 4, paragraph A of Republic Act 9295 or An Act Promoting the Development of Philippine Domestic Shipping, grants exemption from VAT on the importation and local purchase of passenger and/or cargo vessels of 150 tons and above, including engine and spare parts of the said vessels.

However, the age limit of the vessel is 15 years.

The refleeting of Aboitiz Transport comes after the company sold four passenger ferries in 2007 and 2008, and lost Superferry 9 last year.

Last month, Stephen Paradies, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Aboitiz Equity Ventures, told Sun.Star Cebu Aboitiz Transport was looking to bring in two or three Superferry-sized ferries this year.