PH Customs bans entry of vaping products through ports

Robie de Guzman   •   November 25, 2019   •   348

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has ordered all ports across the country to prevent the entry of vaping products following President Rodrigo Duterte’s verbal directive to ban its importation.

In a Facebook post, the BOC said it is closely coordinating with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory agencies for the enforcement of the ban.

“The Bureau of Customs has issued a directive to its Intelligence and Enforcement Groups as well as all our ports of entry to be vigilant and prevent the entry of Vape products and its related items in compliance with the order of President Rodrigo Duterte,” it said.

“Hence all importation of Vape products and its related items shall immediately be subject to seizure by the Bureau of Customs,” it added.

Duterte on Tuesday announced a ban on the use, sale and importation of electronic cigarettes and other similar vaping devices, and directed law enforcers to arrest vape smokers in public.

The Chief Executive’s announcement came after a recent report of the first e-cigarette vaping-associated lung injury (e-VALI) in the country.

The President said an executive order will be issued to formalize his directive.

BOC seizes P1.6-M worth of high-grade marijuana at NAIA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 9, 2019

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) intercepted 973 grams of suspected high-grade marijuana at the Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) on December 6.

The suspected high-grade marijuana came from the United States and has an estimated value of P1.6 million.

According to a statement by the BOC on their social media, the parcel declared as “Marvel Comic and Child Sleeping Bag” was intercepted by NAIA customs frontliners and operatives in coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

“The apprehended item was consigned to a certain individual from Taguig city and was found to contain three (3) vacuum sealed pouches of suspected Kush weed. The suspect was apprehended while claiming the said parcel,” the BOC reported.

“The suspect shall undergo inquest proceedings for violation of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 in relation to RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization Tariff Act,” the BOC added.—AAC

P11 million worth of smuggled coffee beans, corned beef seized at Manila Port

Robie de Guzman   •   December 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Friday seized six containers of smuggled coffee beans, corned beef and used clothing estimated to be worth more than P11 million at the Manila International Container Port.

Of the six containers, five were filled with bags of Arabica coffee beans from Hong Kong and cans of corned beef from Brazil. The remaining container full of second-hand clothes were from South Korea.

The food products were declared as a textile auxiliary, catsup, and crackers while the clothes were listed as brand-new items as the BOC prohibits the importation of used clothing.

The bureau said the seized containers arrived in the country on separate dates.

The food items were consigned to JL Twins Enterprises while the used clothing was registered to FiveJhoch Enterprises.

The bureau said the shipments violated the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, and the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as well as the BOC policy which prohibits the importation of used clothing.

According to the BOC, the confiscated food products will be subjected to forfeiture proceedings due to lack of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permit, while the used clothing has yet to be determined whether it will be donated or auctioned off to the public.

“If there is some way that the FDA can guarantee the safety of these products, we can either sell it through auction or donate it doon sa mga biktima ng calamity natin,” Vincent Philip Maronilla, BOC assistant commissioner, said. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Dante Amento)

BOC-Clark seizes P6.5-M worth of shabu, 30ml marijuana

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 4, 2019

The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Clark seized P6.5 million worth of shabu on November 27 and 30ml of marijuana on (Tuesday) December 3.

The BOC-Clark reported that the 1.026 kgs of shabu worth P6.5 million came from a shipment of aquarium filter from the Czech Republic.

“The shipment said to contain ‘external aquarium filter’ was initially subjected to non-intrusive examination which revealed suspicious images. BOC K-9 inspection was then conducted which indicated possible presence of illegal drugs,” according to the BOC statement.

Upon inspection, the subject shipment yielded two plastic packs of crystalline substances which tested positive in containing the presence of Methamphetamine Hydrochloride or “shabu”.

A Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) was immediately issued.

Meanwhile, a shipment declared as a nutritional supplement was found to contain three (3) bottles with markings of marijuana leaves.

“The seized methamphetamine hydrochloride and marijuana were turned over to PDEA Region III on November 27, 2019 and December 3, 2019, respectively,” according to BOC’s statement.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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