Bill wants imported gym equipment to be tax-free
Gym equipment and sporting gear require some heavy lifting. But can the Bureau of Customs (BOC) lighten the load for the benefit of health and fitness buffs?
A recently filed House bill is seeking a tax exemption on imported products used for workouts, bodybuilding or athletic activities, saying the incentive could go a long way in promoting a healthy lifestyle.
The draft measure, authored by Pwersa ng Atleta Rep. Margarita Nograles, hopes to bring down the cost of such goods to encourage the opening of more fitness gyms or sports projects in communities across the country, including those supported by local governments.
The bill asks the BOC to amend its Administrative Order No. 02-2016 which set the ceiling for nondutiable imported goods at P10,000.
For active lifestyle
Nograles, who also serves as House assistant majority leader, said the BOC can grant a tax exemption of up to P50,000 for imported sporting and health improvement goods.
She mentioned stationary bikes, training benches, dumbbells, barbells, treadmills, rowing machines and other gym equipment among those that can be granted tax breaks.
At present, only items worth P 10,000 and below are tax exempt, whose those worth more than P10,000 is levied a 15-percent customs duty and a 12-percent value-added tax.
“The P10,000 de minimis value for imported goods will remain with the exception of sporting gears and equipment,” she said in a statement on Friday. “If we do this, we can have free gyms in every barangay and we can encourage our population to have an active lifestyle.”
Good for athletes
Nograles said the BOC should consider including a special exemption for sports and health improvement equipment to encourage more citizens to stay fit and healthy.
Another direct beneficiary would be the Filipino athletes themselves, since they could better afford the finest equipment needed in their training, the lawmaker added.
In the long run, Nograles said, heaving a healthy population “will save the government billions in public health spending on various ailments related to a sedentary lifestyle.”