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Comm. Of Customs v. CTA & Campos Rueda Co.


Melencio-Herrera, J.
Petitioner: Commissioner of Customs
Respondent: Court of Tax Appeals & Campos Rueda Co.
Concept: Constitutional Limitations: Due Process Clause
Brief Facts: Campos Rueda Co. imported "tungsol flashers"
and sealed beams from the US. The Bureau of Customs
re-appraised them on a higher rate based on alert
notices sent by Finance Attaches abroad. Campos
Rueda paid in protest and argued that it had overpaid
the duties, claiming that the Commissioner of Customs
violated Sec. 201 of the Tariff and Customs Code (RA
1937, as amended by PD 34 & 1464).
Doctrine: The dutiable value of an imported article is
based on the home consumption price as declared in
the consular, commercial, sales, or trade invoice. But
where there is reasonable doubt, the correct dutiable
value shall be ascertained from the reports of the
Revenue Attache or Commercial Attache and from such
other information that may be available. Also required is
the publication from time to time of the lists of the home
consumption value.
FACTS:
1. Campos Rueda Co. imported several articles
from United States (“tungsol flashers and sealed
beams).
2. Campos Rueda filed the corresponding import
entry.
3. The Bureau of Customs re-appraised the items for
higher rate based on alert notices sent by
Finance Attaches abroad.
4. Campos Rueda paid under protest Php 18,000,
Php 52,000, and Php 67,000 for import duties.
5. Campos Rueda argued that it had overpaid the
duties and filed for refund.
Campos Rueda: The Commissioner of Customs violated
Sec. 201 of the Tariff and Customs Code (RA 1937, as
amended by PD 34 & 1464).
There was violation of due process.
o Reasonable doubt as to the value or price of
the imported article declared in the entry
was not proven to have existed; the “Alert
Notices” from the Finance Attaches were not
shown.
6.
7.
8.

The protest was denied by the Collector of
Customs.
Campos Rueda appealed to the Commissioner
of Customs, but the re-appraisal was confirmed.
Campos Rueda appealed to the Court of Tax
Appeals, which favored them.

Court of Tax Appeals: The Bureau of Customs violated the
Tariff Code.
9.

The CTA ordered the Bureau of Customs to
refund the overpaid amount.

ISSUES:
1. WON the appraisal made by the Commissioner was in
accordance with Sec. 201 of the Tariff and Customs
Code. (NO)
RATIO:
1. NO. Sec. 201 of the same Tariff and Customs Code
(prescribing the criteria for the determination of the
dutiable values of imported articles) has not been
complied with, even if appraisers of the Bureau of
Customs are given ample leeway in determining the
correct customs duties under Sec. 1405 of the TCC.
According to Sec. 201 of the TCC:
o The dutiable value of an imported article is
based on the home consumption value or
price as declared in the consular, trade or
sales invoice.
o Where there is reasonable doubt, the correct
dutiable value shall be ascertained from the
reports of the Revenue Attache or
Commercial Attache and from such other
information that may be available to the
Bureau of Customs.
o Also required by the statute is the publication
from time to time of the lists of the home
consumption values.
In the corresponding Import Entries, Campos
Rueda Co. quoted the prices of the imported
merchandise as declared in the consular invoices
and as required by Sec. 201.
o Reasonable doubt wasn’t proven by the
Commissioner in reassessing the values.
o There was also no compliance to the
publication from time to time of the list of
home consumption values.
The "Alert Notices" from Finance Attaches abroad
(which the Bureau of Customs based its reappraisals) were not disclosed during the
proceedings of Campos Rueda Co. nor
presented in evidence before the Court.
o Under these circumstances, the re-appraisal
was clearly not in accordance with the
provisions of Section 201 of the Tariff and
Customs Code.
o The re-appraisal made by the Bureau of
Customs, therefore, can be faulted with
arbitrariness in disregard of the standard of
due process to which all governmental
action should conform to impress upon it the
stamp of validity.
Administrative proceedings are not exempt from
the operation of due process requirements.
o One of which is that a finding by an
administrative tribunal should be supported
by substantial evidence presented at the
hearing or at least contained in the records
or disclosed to the parties affected.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition is DENIED. Appealed Judgment is
AFFIRMED.
NOTES:

Hence this petition by the Commission of Customs.
Digested by: André
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