ASEAN Regulatory Brief: Singapore Financial Information Sharing, Philippines Automobile Tax Hike, and Indonesia Chemical Regulations

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Singapore:  Financial Information Sharing Agreement Signed with Canada, Finland

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) has signed an agreement with Canada and Finland on Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information. As per the agreement, the first reporting year will be 2017 and the first exchange of information will be completed by September 2018. The automatic exchange of information (AEOI) based on the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) refers to regular exchange of financial information between countries for tax purposes to identify tax evasion by taxpayers through the use of offshore bank accounts. Singapore is committed to the CRS. Singapore-based Financial Institutions (SGFIs) will be required to submit financial information of account holders from jurisdictions they have agreements with. Singapore has similar agreements with nine other countries.

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Philippines: Automobile Tax Hike in 2018

Philippines’ Finance Department is expected to hike automobile taxes in the country from 2018 in a bid to make taxation more progressive and ease traffic congestion in cities. The proposal will see a restructuring of the current excise tax on automobiles so that it will be simple to calculate. The initial proposal is to increase the rate of entry-level cars worth up to US$ 12,078 (PHP 600,000) to 5 percent from the current 2 percent. Luxury cars priced over US$ 42,274 (2.1 million PHP) will be taxed at 60 percent of the manufacture of import price, up from the current US$ 10,306 (512,000 PHP) plus 60 percent in excess of US$ 12,078.

The government stated that while gas and diesel prices doubled between 2009 and 2011, automobile sales continued to grow. The proposal is expected to affect the top 10 percent of households in terms of income, the most. The government also wants to encourage people to use public transport. Along with the proposed tax hike on automobiles, the government wants to raise the excise tax on fuel which has remained the same since 1997. The developments are part of the Executive’s five-part tax reform program.

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 Indonesia: Chemical Regulations set to be Introduced

 Indonesia’s government is finalizing regulations for hazardous and toxic chemicals (known as Bahan Berbahaya dan Beracun (B3)). While the regulation is close to release, the exact date of implementation is yet to be decided. The changes are expected to the classification system to match the Globally Harmonized System (GHS), types and lists of chemicals and substances and the use of a technical team to monitor the regulation.

The regulation will affect all companies in Indonesia that produce, import, transport and store hazardous chemicals. Such companies will have to register and submit documents on chemicals, whether they are manufactured, exported or imported to the authorities. Chemicals for sale for the first time will be required to undergo a risk analysis report and only approved after being sanctioned by the Hazardous and Toxic Substances (HTS) Committee. Chemical companies in Indonesia should continue to monitor the regulations in the near term.


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