MANILA: The government has tasked the Bureau of Customs to increase its collection of import duties and taxes next year by at least 20 per cent from its target for 2013. The Department of Finance, the parent agency of the BoC, wanted the agency to boost collections by implementing new measures against smuggling. Under the 2014 fiscal program, the collection goal for the BoC for next year was set at P408.1 billion compared with its target of P340 billion for 2013. The assignment of a higher revenue collection target for 2014 was despite earlier pronouncements from Customs officials that the agency was poised to fall short of its collection target for this year and their requests for lower targets. They cited lower-than-expected imports as well as the continued decline in tariff rates on imported goods from the region as a result of a trade agreement among members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). Tariffs on most goods within Asean are scheduled to drop to zero by 2015.