BOC sues steel importers
MANILA, Philippines—Two steel importers are facing smuggling-related complaints in the Department of Justice (DOJ) for allegedly misdeclaring their shipments to avoid paying higher customs duties.
Customs Commissioner John Sevilla on Monday filed separate complaints against Thunder Birds Trading and Skylink Import-Export Inc. in the DOJ.
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) found that Thunder Birds had declared its shipment from China as steel sheets, clamps, flexible tubing and hinges, although the 12 20-foot container vans contained cold rolled steel sheets used in cars, household appliances like stoves, and office steel equipment.
Skylink meanwhile declared that its eight 20-foot container vans contained hardware items but customs inspectors found steel angle bars instead.
The misdeclaration was allegedly done to avoid paying the safeguard duty of P3,706 per metric ton on the imported angle bars.
Charged were Thunder Birds owner and proprietor Shine Rapadas Montes and the firm’s customs brokers, Jolly Lareza and Arnel Assuncion, for the unlawful importation and fraudulent filing of import documents.
Also charged were Skylink officials led by its president, Junnhel Atun, corporate secretary Donna Donita Mendoza, treasurer Jumean Rose Atun, directors Limuelle Montesa and Rogelio Ocampo, and customs broker Jarie Mae Juquiana, for violating Sections 3601 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, Section 6 of Republic Act No. 4109, and Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code.
Sevilla told reporters that while the amount involved was not that big, the concern was the entry into the country of unsafe steel products. Christine O. Avendaño
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