Southern Cement safeguard woes

Southern Cement safeguard woes
Published: 29 June 2004

Japanese cement importer Southern Cross Cement Corp. yesterday denied allegations it owes the Bureau of Customs PHP37.8m in safeguard duties, saying recent newspaper reports "are not reflective of the truth and are merely issued in pure harassment." In a statement, Southern Cross said it deposited "more than PHP64m in cash" with Customs since December 2001 when temporary duties were imposed and another PHP35m in irrevocable letters of credit when definitive duties were ordered last year. Southern Cross said the letters of credit were "conditioned upon a final decision of the Supreme Court" on its petition questioning the legality of the PHP20.60 safeguard duty on every 40kg bag of imported cement imposed during the time of Trade Secretary Manuel A Roxas II. This condition ‘was acceptable’ to the Customs bureau, the statement said.