BOC reiterates: Meat, pork imports need clearance before release

Robie de Guzman   •   November 6, 2019   •   271

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.

P12.92-B worth of smuggled goods seized from January to October – BOC

Robie de Guzman   •   November 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday reported it has confiscated around P12.92 billion worth of smuggled goods from January to October this year.

In a statement, the BOC said most of these items were illegal drugs, counterfeit goods, and cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Customs Commissioner Rey Guerrero said the BOC was able to intercept the entry of shabu shipments worth P2.96 billion in three separate incidents, while other illegal substances worth P151.74 million were also seized during the January to October period.

In a report submitted to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Guerrero said that as of October 24, the bulk of the goods seized were mostly fake products worth P7.81 billion, which were intercepted in 14 separate incidents in various ports.

Guerrero also reported during a recent Department of Finance (DOF) Executive Committee (Execom) meeting that the BOC also confiscated cigarettes and other tobacco products valued at P1.69 billion, along with P107.59 million worth of agricultural products.

The other seized goods were vehicles and accessories worth P67.25 million; used clothing valued at P54.66 million; steel products, P12.61 million; general merchandise valued at P9.39 million; and other products, P58.20 million.

Guerrero said that as of October this year, the BOC has also filed 20 cases against illegal operations that impede the bureau’s revenue collections and revoked the accreditation of 16o importers and 20 brokers in line with its anti-corruption campaign.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Internal Revenue reported during the DOF meeting its efforts to improve tax administration with the temporary closure of 567 establishments from January to September this year under its Oplan Kandado program.

BIR deputy commissioner Arnel Guballa said this represents a 346.45 percent increase over the 127 closures the bureau had implemented in the previous year.

“As a result, the BIR was able to collect P798.7 million in taxes from the delinquent establishments over the January-October 2019 period,” Guballa said.

“The amount is P444.9 million or 125.75 percent higher than the previous year’s collections of P353.8 million under the Oplan Kandado program,” he added.

Beware of ‘love scams’ this holiday season — BOC

Marje Pelayo   •   November 21, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Ber months mark the beginning of gift giving traditions which technology has made faster and easier nowadays.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC), however, once again warns the public against online scammers targeting online users’ hard-earned money.

Calling it ‘love scam,’ the BOC calls on the public not to be swayed by the email address – boccarephilgvt@tech-center.com – that operates on such schemes.

The BOC said it is a fake or bogus e-mail that victimizes online users by asking them to pay through personal bank account or money remittance in order to claim a package.

The agency urges the public to call the BOC Hotline numbers (02) 8705-6000, 09052997977, 09295035138 if they encounter such bogus e-mails or to confirm if the package being offered is from legitimate sources.

Inquiries may also be sent to the agency’s official e-mail address boc.cares@customs.gov.ph.

BOC crushes smuggled cigarette-making machines, fake master cases

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Several units of smuggled cigarette manufacturing machines, fake cigarette master cases and other packaging materials were destroyed at the Port of Clark, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said on Monday.

In a statement, the BOC said seven units of cigarette-making machines, one unit of plastic recycling machine, a manual lifter, a generator set, and a generator cooling system were crushed using a backhoe.

The agency said these items were seized last February 19 and forfeited last July 26 for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The BOC said the destruction of smuggled materials was part of its efforts to prevent illicit trade and customs fraud.

“The said activity sends a strong message to smugglers to stop their illegal business practices, shortchanging the government of the rightful revenues,” the agency said.

The BOC at the Port of Clark, meanwhile, said that on Tuesday, Nov. 19, two more sets of cigarette-making machines, one set of automatic strapping machine, plastic shredding facility, as well as 145 cigarette master cases, packaging materials, and tax stamps will also be destroyed.

The said items were confiscated last March 5, 2018, and forfeited last August 6 for violation of the CMTA, Intellectual Property Rights Law, National Tobacco Administration Circular No. 3-2014, BOC Memorandum Circular No. 15-2015 and 20-2006 and BIR Revenue Regulation No. 1-97.

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