Buying an exotic car in the Philippines is an expensive business. If worth over a certain amount and classified as a ‘luxury vehicle’, a car bound for the country is liable for a gigantic tax bill.
Importing a McLaren 620R, for instance, requires the buyer to part with 16,771,688.91 Philippine Pesos - that’s £260,000, which is more than you pay for the car itself in the UK. Keen to avoid coughing up that sum, one resourceful owner decided to merely declare his incoming 620R as something far cheaper with a similar-ish shape - a Porsche Cayman.
This dropped the tax owed to a much more reasonable (but still wallet-busting) 1.5 million Php (£23,313), depriving the government of 15,000,000 Php. Unfortunately for the buyer - Llorin Trading - the vehicle was uncovered in the Port of Manila and discovered to be very much not a Porsche Cayman.
Along with now owing the unpaid taxes, those involved in the ruse may end up on the receiving end of charges. In a Facebook post, the Philippines’ Bureau of Customs said:
“The consignee and broker of the shipment are now facing possible charges for violation of Section 1400 in relation to Section 1113 of RA 10863 also known as the Customs Modernization and Tarrif [sic] Act (CMTA).
The Port of Manila in coordination with BOC Intelligence Group and all its offices is committed to its mandate of collecting appropriate duties and taxes and prevent the proliferation of improper and or misdeclared imported vehicles into the country.”