BOC: Only a crooked few break Customs laws
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday said that, with its anti-smuggling drive, the agency succeeded in weeding out the few unscrupulous traders who misclassified, misdeclared or undervalued shipments.
In a statement, Customs Commissioner John Phillip P. Sevilla said that “only a minority of importers and brokers are not complying with the laws.”
“Over 90 percent of the average 80,000 container vans that arrive in the country each month have no problems,” Sevilla noted.
However, of the 10 percent that were placed under alert orders over suspicions of smuggling, the bulk, or 80 percent, yielded misdisclared or undervalued imports, Sevilla said.
The BOC reported that its enforcement and intelligence units recently seized P1 million worth of ukay-ukay, or used clothes, brought in illegally through the Manila International Container Port last August. The 342 boxes of used clothes, office equipment, shoes and toys had been declared by consignee Sparta Biotekhnological Solutions as door window frames, the agency said.
Two 40-foot container vans containing garlic imported by Ocean Eighteen Enterprises, meanwhile, were also confiscated recently for lacking of import permits, as well as phytosanitary clearances from the Bureau of Plant Industry, the BOC said.
At the Mindanao International Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental, the agency seized more than 30 container vans of illegally imported goods such as rice from Thailand, clothes, bags, porcelain jars, TV sets, computer and auto parts, as well as sport utility vehicles worth P40 million.
The smuggled items came in through 19 separate shipments from December of 2013 to September this year, and were consigned to 12 different companies.
The BOC said it already issued warrants of seizure and detention against the firms behind the shipments for misclassification, misdeclaration and undervaluation.
“All of the seized items will be subjected to forfeiture proceedings in favor of the government. Follow-up operations are now ongoing to identify and file cases against the erring importers and traders,” the BOC added.
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