Customs seizes P120-M worth of smuggled cigarettes seized in Tawi-Tawi

Robie de Guzman   •   November 13, 2020   •   623

More than P120 million worth of smuggled cigarettes were recently intercepted in Tawi-Tawi, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

The bureau said a vessel, which was carrying the shipment from Indonesia, was seized on Nov. 6 by its operatives from the Port of Zamboanga.

The operation stemmed from an information it received about a vessel, M/L Nur 1 departing from Indonesia en route to Indanan, Sulu.

“Guided by the Intelligence Group, the information was then relayed to the Customs personnel in Taganak Island, Tawi Tawi for validation and coordination,” the BOC said in a statement.

An operation was then launched against the vessel by the bureau’s anti-smuggling team, in cooperation with the Naval Intelligence and Security Unit – Zamboanga, Naval Forces Western Mindanao, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine National Police, Philippine Marines, Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, and other intelligence operatives.

Upon inspection, authorities seized more or less 3,000 boxes of undocumented cigarettes.

The seized goods shall undergo proper disposition procedure pursuant to Customs laws, the bureau said.

A Warrant of Seizure and Detention will be issued against the subject goods for lack of permit from the National Tobacco Administration and for violation of the Amended Rules and Regulations Governing the Exportation and Importation of Tobacco and Tobacco Products pursuant to Executive Order No. 245, as well as violations of R.A 8424 known as National Internal Revenue Code of the Philippines and Section 1401 of R.A 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tarrif Act.

The BOC said the operation is part of the agency’s “ultimate goal of erasing the stigma of Mindanao being the country’s backdoor for smuggling operations.”

Customs seizes P1 billion worth of counterfeit goods in Pasay

Robie de Guzman   •   December 2, 2021

Counterfeit goods estimated to be worth P1.1 billion were seized in an operation in Baclaran, Pasay City, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement on Wednesday, the BOC said the counterfeit items allegedly smuggled into the country were confiscated during an inspection on November 29.

“Armed with a Letter of Authority (LOA) issued by BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo B. Guerrero, the implementing team composed of personnel from the IG CIIS-IPRD, BOC-POM, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) inspected the warehouses located in Pasay City,” the bureau said.

“The inspection led to the discovery of possible Intellectual Property Right (IPR)-infringing goods and are suspected smuggled counterfeit goods,” it added.

The BOC said its conduct of initial inventory of goods revealed numerous items bearing the brands of Victoria’s Secret, Birkenstock, Lacoste, Converse, Nike, Adidas, Jordan, Havaianas, Barbie, and HP to name a few.

“Further investigation is underway for possible violation of the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines (RA 8293) and the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (RA 10863),” it added.

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.

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