MANILA -- Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Isidro Lapeña led the inspection of various seized goods worth PHP12.9 million at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) on Monday.
He noted that the smuggled shipments composed of agricultural products, used clothing, used motorbikes arrived at MICP on different occasions, were alerted and seized for misdeclaration and lack of import permits.
Customs agents uncovered PHP5.4 million worth of yellow onions and fresh potatoes inside three abandoned containers from China. It was misdeclared as fresh apples and lacked the necessary permit from the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).
The cargoes which arrived on Dec. 8, 2017 were consigned to ZIDP Trading.
A shipment from South Korea, declared as assorted wearing apparel, yielded suspicious images after x-ray scanning which prompted Customs personnel to conduct physical examination.
It was discovered to contain used clothing and was seized in violation of the Republic Act No. 4653 which bans the importation of such. The shipment was consigned to R.L. Son Trading and arrived at the port on Nov. 29, 2017.
The BOC also found PHP2 million worth of Chunghua soft cigarettes contained inside an overstaying cargo from Korea which was consigned to Maxafrica Mfg. Pvt. Ltd.
The shipment was seized after consignee failed to present the corresponding permit from the National Tobacco Administration. It arrived at the port on Sept. 30, 2017.
The misdeclared shipment came from Japan and arrived on Sept. 22, 2017, worth PHP500,000 was consigned to Japare International Trading. It was declared as used compressors and water pumps which were later discovered to contain used motorbikes.
The BOC also seized four containers of onions estimated to be worth PHP4 million for lack of import permit from the BPI. It was consigned to Kavin Shipping Ltd. and arrived from China on Sept. 15, 2017
Lawyer Ruby Claudia Alameda, MICP district collector, said all shipments will undergo seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of pertinent provisions of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.
After the forfeiture proceedings, the used motorbikes will be auctioned to the public to indemnify the government of the duties and taxes due on the shipment.
Meanwhile, the cigarettes, onions, used clothing, and potatoes shall undergo condemnation as provided by the applicable provision in the CMTA.
On the same day, Lapena also witnessed the demonstration of condemnation process of various seized fake products such as sandals, slippers and shoes. The shipments worth more than PHP4 million, were consigned to EMT Trading.
"This is a good way to start the year. How our bureau personnel conduct their jobs and the available technology we have, the x-rays -- this is a good combination to safeguard our ports and our consumers and even legitimate traders from smuggled products. This year, the BOC will really give the smugglers their most difficult time," the BOC chief said in a statement. (PNA)