PH Bureau of Customs, Animal Industry dispose of ASF-tainted food products

Robie de Guzman   •   February 17, 2020   •   554

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC), together with the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), said it has completed the disposal of a shipment of food items that were tainted with African Swine Fever (ASF).

The BOC said the shipment, which included food products such as pork-chicken balls, dumplings, and roast chicken wings were disposed of using a heat-assisted method called thermolysis or thermal decomposition at the facility of Integrated Waste Management at Trece Martirez in Cavite on February 7.

The bureau said the food shipment, consigned to Dynamic M Intl Trading Inc., arrived at the Manila International Container Port (MCIP) on December 11, 2019, from China.

An alert order was issued on the container on December 17.

The shipment was initially inspected by the Customs at the Designated Examination Area in MICP and was transferred to the consignee’s warehouse at Goldkey Bldg, Toklong, Kawit, Cavite for the conduct of 100% physical examination by the interagency team.

“It was seized last January 24, 2020, after the Veterinary Quarantine Services of BAI found a sample of the pork-celery dumpling to be ASF-positive,” the BOC added.

The bureau assured that the food items were first disinfected by the BAI before these were transported to the Integrated Waste Management Facility for disposal.

P15M worth of misdeclared high-end goods seized at NAIA

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – A shipment of high-end branded goods that were misdeclared as personal effects was recently apprehended at the Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement, the BOC said the shipment, which consisted of bags, shoes, wallets and other luxury goods was valued at P15 million.

The items included high-end brands like Chanel, Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Balenciaga bags, shoes, wallets, and earrings.

The bureau said that the shipment was fraudulently declared as personal effects, consisting of shampoo, soap, towels, toiletries, canned goods, milk and chocolates, packed in 17 cartons. It was shipped from Milano, Italy through RRG Freight Service Forwarder in Paicargo Warehouse.

A physical examination of the subject shipment confirmed that it actually consists of high-end goods in commercial quantities.

The BOC said the misdeclaration is an apparent attempt to evade payment of correct duties and taxes by circumventing duty and tax free privileges afforded to balikbayan boxes.

According to Port of NAIA district collector Carmelita Talusan, the shipment will be subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Section 1400 in relation to Section 1113 of the CMTA.

The records and details of the apprehension shall be referred to the Bureau Action Team Against Smugglers (BATAS) for case profiling and build up against the personalities involved in the foiled smuggling.

Trump to give TikTok’s Chinese owner 45 days to reach deal to sell — sources

UNTV News   •   August 3, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump has agreed to give China’s ByteDance 45 days to negotiate a sale of popular short-video app TikTok to Microsoft Corp, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday (August 2).

U.S. officials have said TikTok under its Chinese parent poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. Trump said on Friday (July 31) he was planning to ban TikTok in the United States after dismissing the idea of a sale to Microsoft.

But following a discussion between Trump and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the Redwood, Washington-based company said in a statement on Sunday that it would continue negotiations to acquire TikTok from ByteDance, and that it aimed to reach a deal by Sept. 15.

It was not immediately clear what changed Trump’s mind. Banning TikTok would alienate many of its young users ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November, and would likely trigger a wave of legal challenges. Several prominent Republican lawmakers put out statements in the last two days urging Trump to back a sale of TikTok to Microsoft.

The negotiations between ByteDance and Microsoft will be overseen by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. government panel that has the right to block any agreement, according to the sources, who requested anonymity ahead of a White House announcement. Microsoft cautioned in its statement that there is no certainty a deal will be reached. (Reuters)

(Production: Bob Mezan)

Pompeo says closed Chinese consulate in Houston was ‘den of spies’

UNTV News   •   July 31, 2020

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday (July 30) the “tide is turning” in U.S. dealings with China, saying there is international support for American policies, including the step-up of maritime maneuvers in the South China Sea.

Reflecting rising tensions between Washington and Beijing, Pompeo took a tough line on China in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“We see the Chinese Communist Party for what it is: the center threat of our times,” Pompeo said.

In recent days, Washington and Beijing have each closed one of the other country’s consulates – the United States closing China’s office in Houston and China retaliating by shuttering the U.S. facility in Chengdu – and Pompeo recently announced an end to Hong Kong’s special trading status.

“We closed the consulate in Houston because it was a den of spies,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo was testifying publicly at Foreign Relations Committee hearing for the first time in 15 months, discussing the State Department’s annual budget request.

President Donald Trump’s administration has tried to slash the State Department budget since it took office, which has been rejected by Congress every year. Democratic lawmakers told the hearing that they would not support steep cuts this year either. (Reuters)

(Production: Kia Johnson)

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