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All imported unprocessed fruits and vegetables now VAT free

On November 10, 2021, the Philippine Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) issued Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 112-2021 (RMC 112-2021), clarifying the list of imported perishable food products that are exempt from the 12 percent value-added tax (VAT) under Section 109 (1)(A) of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997. The circular also clarifies that BIR no longer requires the issuance of an Authority to Release Imported Goods (ASTRIG) prior to release from the custody of the Bureau of Customs.

The Annex of JMC No. 48-2002 (attached) previously listed all the unprocessed vegetable products and unprocessed edible fruits and nuts that were covered by the VAT exemption. It did not, however, include imported fresh produce that gained market access later, such as fresh blueberries. The new RMC clarifies that all unprocessed fruits and vegetables that may be legally imported into the country are exempt from the 12 percent VAT.

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