BOC seizes P16M-worth of smuggled onions

Marje Pelayo   •   September 21, 2018   •   2939

Customs commissioner Isidro Lapeña showing the smuggled onions that were misdeclared as apples

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs recently hauled eight containers of smuggled onions at the Manila International Container Port which were declared as apples to escape taxes and duties.

The shipment was consigned to ASD Total Package Enterprises Inc. which arrived on August 14, 2018, according to records.

“Itinatago nila sa kanilang mga warehouses o ibang mga unregistered warehouses at hino-hoard ito.  That causes shortage of supply, and when there is shortage of supply the price goes up,” said BOC Commissioner Isidro Lapeña.

Also, the BOC seized P3M-worth of smuggled cigarettes allegedly from China which do not bear graphic warnings. There was also no legal documents accompanying the shipment.

Lapeña said the smuggled items will be condemned.

“All items that are seized and forfeited if they are prohibited by law and by regulation, [will be condemned]. In the case of onion, [it] is prohibited by the Department of Agriculture. These will be destroyed,” he said.

The owner of the shipment will be charged in court along with the customs broker for violating the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mon Jocson)

P3B revenues collected from pork imports under reduced tariff, increased MAV system

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has posted collections amounting to P3 billion from swine meat imports under a reduced tariff system, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

In a statement, the DOF said that the BOC reported 197 million kilograms (kg) of pork imports from April 7 to Nov. 12 this year.

However, the bureau estimated that it has foregone some P3.4 billion in revenues as of November due to the decreased tariff scheme.

The reduced tariff system was implemented in the second quarter of this year to boost the supply of pork and stabilize its retail prices in the domestic market.

To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte had issued a series of executive orders (EOs) that took effect starting April 7 to lower pork import tariffs and increase the allowable import volumes of the meat to help stabilize the domestic supply and prices of this food staple for the benefit of Filipino consumers.

Executive Order (EO) No. 128, which lowered pork import tariffs to 5 percent within its minimum access volume (MAV) and 15 percent outside MAV for the first three months, was in effect from April 7 to May 14.

EO 134, which superseded EO 128, set tariffs on pork imports under the MAV to 10 percent for the first three months, and 15 percent in the next nine months.

For imports outside the MAV, the tariffs are 20 percent for the first three months and 25 percent in the succeeding nine months.

The one-year effectivity of EO 134 began on May 15, 2021.

“To compute for the effect of the two EOs, we multiplied the dutiable value of meat by 25 percent—less 5 percent and 15 percent—which were already paid for EO 128, and multiply the dutiable value by 20 percent and 15 percent for EO 134. The result showed a revenue loss of P3.4 billion,” BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said during a recent meeting with DOF.

Guerrero said the volume of pork imports started spiking in March and continuously grew in April to May, but dropped starting June.

The volume of pork imports in April, the month when the two EOs took effect, grew 500.46 percent, from 4.07 million kg in the same month last year to 24.45 million kg.

“This dramatic increase in pork import volumes continued in May, when a total of 36.5 million kg entered the country, representing a 506-percent hike from the 6.02 million kg imported during the same period in 2020,” the BOC said.

In June, the bureau said that pork imports reached 33.62 million kg, which was 531.39 percent more than the 5.32 million kg brought into the country during the same period last year.

“Pork imports continued its steady drop in July, when volumes totaled 31.18 million kg, which was 370.4 percent more than the 6.63 million kg, recorded in the same month of 2020,” it added.

The agency also noted that in August, pork imports increased 271.59 percent year-on-year, and dropped to 164.55 percent in September and 78.47 percent in October.

The volume of pork imports was 6.41 million kg in August 2020 and 23.82 million kg in August 2021; 9.73 million kg in September 2o20 and 25.73 million kg in September 2021; and 10.85 million kg in October 2020 and 19.36 million kg in October 2021.

From November 1-12, pork imports of 7.47 million kg were lower by 11.64 percent compared to last year’s 8.46 million for the same period.

Smuggled onions declared as ‘mantou’ seized in Misamis Oriental

Robie de Guzman   •   November 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Five containers of smuggled red onions misdeclared as “mantou” or Chinese steamed buns were seized in Misamis Oriental, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Friday.

In a statement, the BOC said its personnel at the Port of Cagayan confiscated the shipment after a spot inspection on Thursday at the Mindanao Container Terminal Sub-Port in Tagoloan town.

The shipment from China arrived at the port on November 13. It was consigned to EMV Consumer Goods Trading.

“After receiving a derogatory information from the Intelligence Group that the shipment may contain smuggled goods, Oliver Valiente, Chief, CIIS CDO Field Station requested District Collector Atty. Elvira Cruz to conduct a spot-check inspection against the said shipment,” the BOC said.

The shipment was estimated to be worth P14 million.

“CIIS CDO already requested for the grounding of the 19 remaining containers consigned to the same consignee pending a physical examination,” the bureau said.

A Warrant of Seizure and Detention will be issued against the shipment while the consignee may face charges for violation of the provisions of RA 10863 or Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, the BOC added.

Customs seizes over P3 million worth of ecstasy pills in Rizal

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2021

 MANILA, Philippines — A parcel containing ecstasy pills with an estimated market value of P3,388,100 was confiscated in Taytay, Rizal, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the BOC said its agents at the Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (IADITG) seized the illegal drugs in an operation on November 16.

The operation was conducted with the Port of NAIA Enforcement and Security Service Customs Anti-illegal Drugs Task Force.

The shipment, which contained a total of 1,993 ecstasy tablets originated from Germany and was consigned to a certain Heart Valerine Garcia Cruz.

The shipment was originally declared as a wedding dress but was later found to contain illegal drugs when subjected to physical examination.

The parcel’s claimant was apprehended during the operation, the BOC said.

The seized illegal drugs have been turned over to PDEA for further investigation, it added.

Charges for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Drugs Act as well as RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) may also be filed, the BOC said.

 

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