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8box Solutions Inc.


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REVENUE MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR NO. 112-2023 issued on October 17, 2023 clarifies the duty of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine classification of beverages pursuant to Section 150-B of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997, as amended, and as implemented by Revenue Regulations (RR) No. 20-2018.
              For the purpose of administration of Excise Tax laws and regulations, particularly the implementation of the Excise Tax on sweetened beverages, the FDA’s function is limited to the adoption of the relevant version of the Codex Alimentarius Food Category Descriptors (Codex Stan 192-1995) and, at best, the determination of the proper classification of beverages. Furthermore, the FDA’s determination should be based on reference to and understanding of the Codex Stan 192-1995 version that it has adopted and strict adherence to the parameters set forth therein.
                   However, the FDA’S determination of beverage classification is in no way absolute, final and conclusive and is subject to the discretion of the BIR to review such determination. The Bureau reserves its right to classify the products for taxation purposes should the FDA fail to strictly adhere to the applicable Codex Descriptors.
                The Supreme Court has ruled in a number of cases that the interpretation placed upon
a statute by the executive officers, whose duty is to enforce it, is entitled to great respect by the
courts. Hence, the proper determination of whether a product or beverage is subject to the imposition and payment of Excise Tax or is covered by the exclusions therefrom rests with the Commissioner of Internal Revenue.