BOC condemns P2.2-M worth of smuggled cigarettes seized in Zamboanga

Marje Pelayo   •   August 16, 2019   •   819

ZAMBOANGA, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the port of Zamboanga condemned 45 boxes of smuggled cigarettes on Wednesday (August 14).

The condemned goods, with an estimated value of P2.2 Million, were seized in the joint operation by the BOC Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), the Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) and various enforcement agencies in a drive to crackdown counterfeit and smuggled cigarettes.

The operation followed a report that reached the BOC about undetermined boxes of smuggled cigarettes of different brands on board passenger vessel MV Maria Erlinda of Montenegro Shipping Lines Inc. which arrived at Jolo, Sulu.

Following the condemnation, Barte encouraged civilians to report any incident of smuggling to help intensify the anti-smuggling campaign of the BOC.

“The Bureau has remained consistent in its efforts to rid the country of faked and smuggled goods in order to protect our local and legitimate businesses as well as to protect the public from the health risks that these illegal goods may cause,” the BOC said on its official social media page.

P4.2M worth of smuggled cigarettes seized in Zamboanga

Marje Pelayo   •   November 8, 2019

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday (November 5) seized P4.2 million worth of smuggled cigarettes at Urban Poor Drive, Tugbungan, Zamboanga City.

The items consisting of 143 master cases and 40 reams of Bravo Red Cigarettes from Malaysia, were discovered aboard a panel truck with temporary plate No. 090104.

The smuggled cigarettes and the truck were immediately turned over to the BOC for inventory and proper disposition.

Meanwhile, the suspects involved were turned over to Zamboanga Police Office Station 06 for investigation and for filing of possible charges.

District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr. said in a statement that the agency’s intensified anti-smuggling operations under the marching orders of BOC Commissioner Rey Guerrero mainly contributed to the apprehension.

Barte said seizure of fake and smuggled products will protect the public from possible health risks these items pose.

BOC reiterates: Meat, pork imports need clearance before release

Robie de Guzman   •   November 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday reiterated that food imports such as meat and pork products must first be inspected and cleared before its release.

The BOC made the statement amid government efforts to prevent entry of food products that may contain diseases, particularly the African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.

The bureau said that RepublicAct 10611 or the Food Safety Act of 2013 stipulates that “imported foods shall undergo cargo inspection and clearance procedures by the DA (Department of Agriculture) and the DOH (Department of Health) at the first port of entry to determine compliance with national regulations.”

The BOC added that this inspection will always be conducted prior to assessment for tariff and other charges.

To further ensure the safety of the public, the BOC said that boarding formalities on arriving vessels at any port entry are strictly conducted by the bureau and the Quarantine Officers of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

According to BOC Spokesperson and Assistant Commissioner Atty. Vincent Philip Maronilla, all imported agricultural goods contained in reefer containers undergo initial examination by the DA.

These will then be inspected by the BAI, BPI and BFAR at their accredited warehouses.

“In case of meat products, reefer container is sealed by BAI prior to the release of said imports from the BOC. The sealed reefer container will be further examined 100% by the National Meat Inspection Service in its accredited storage warehouse,” the statement read.

BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero emphasized that the bureau is prompt in acting against derogatory reports of shipments that may contain smuggled goods and other contraband and is serious in enforcing the law and the proper procedures against imported pork and meat products from ASF-hit countries.

BOC seizes 2 containers of misdeclared steel from China

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Port of Manila on Tuesday seized a misdeclared steel shipment from China.

The BOC said the two containers filled with stainless angle bars were consigned to Liuzhiga International Trading.

The shipment, which arrived at the port on October 19, was misdeclared as flat bars and steel sheets according to BOC Intelligence Group deputy commissioner Raniel Ramiro in a statement.

“The IG-CIIS (Intelligence Group-Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service) received a report on 22 October 2019 from a reliable source that a certain shipment might have violated the Customs laws by gross misdeclaration in quality-description of goods,” Ramiro said.

He said the BOC unit then coordinated with Port of Manila District Collector Arsenia Ilagan on Monday to inspect the shipment.

Upon examination, authorities found stainless angle bars and steel sheets inside the containers contrary to the declaration filed by the consignee.

The agency said the value of the seized goods has yet to be determined, as of press time.

The BOC issued alert order and Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the shipment for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

“Further investigation is being conducted by the BOC prior to filing of appropriate charges against the personalities involved in the smuggling of goods,” the bureau said.

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