PH Customs opens text hotline 8484 for corruption complaints

Robie de Guzman   •   August 13, 2019   •   454

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has launched text hotline 8484 which will allow the public to report corrupt practices and other irregularities involving any of its employees and officials.

The BOC said the public may also use the hotline to report brokers, importers, fixers and other entities involved in smuggling, bribery, illegal drugs and other illegal activities.

Citizens only have to send a text message to 8484 with complete information including the name of the person involved, what illegal activity was committed, when, where, why and how it was done.

The BOC assured that citizens’ report on suspected corruption-related incidents will be “handled with confidentiality and processed immediately.”

The bureau said the hotline system was established for the public in order to voice their complaints without fear of retaliation, and to help the bureau get rid of corrupt practices.

The 8484 hotline is initially available for Globe-TM users 24/7.

BOC seizes 2 containers of misdeclared steel from China

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Port of Manila on Tuesday seized a misdeclared steel shipment from China.

The BOC said the two containers filled with stainless angle bars were consigned to Liuzhiga International Trading.

The shipment, which arrived at the port on October 19, was misdeclared as flat bars and steel sheets according to BOC Intelligence Group deputy commissioner Raniel Ramiro in a statement.

“The IG-CIIS (Intelligence Group-Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service) received a report on 22 October 2019 from a reliable source that a certain shipment might have violated the Customs laws by gross misdeclaration in quality-description of goods,” Ramiro said.

He said the BOC unit then coordinated with Port of Manila District Collector Arsenia Ilagan on Monday to inspect the shipment.

Upon examination, authorities found stainless angle bars and steel sheets inside the containers contrary to the declaration filed by the consignee.

The agency said the value of the seized goods has yet to be determined, as of press time.

The BOC issued alert order and Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the shipment for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

“Further investigation is being conducted by the BOC prior to filing of appropriate charges against the personalities involved in the smuggling of goods,” the bureau said.

BOC seizes P3.5M worth of smuggled pork, meat products from China

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) at the Port of Manila on Monday seized two containers filled with misdeclared pork and other meat products worth P3.5 million.

The misdeclared products arrived at the South Harbor on Oct. 12 from China, the BOC said in a statement.

These were consigned to Jeniti International Trading and was processed by Customs Broker Arlene de Mateo Gonzales.

Based on the bureau’s initial report, the consignee declared the shipment as tomato paste and vermicelli with total declared duties and taxes of P288,576.

The BOC said the shipment was tagged “red,” which means it needs to undergo physical and documentary inspection and X-ray screening.

Upon closer inspection on Friday, Oct. 25, the Customs examiner discovered the misdeclared meat products.

The bureau has issued a Warrant of Seizure and Detention (WSD) against the said shipment for violation of Section 1400 “Misdeclaration, Misclassification and Undervaluation in Goods Declaration,” in relation to Section 1113 “Property Subject to Seizure and Forfeiture,” of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The seizure of the misdeclared meat products was amid efforts to control the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.

Anti-oil smuggling: BOC marks Unioil’s 53 million liters of gasoil in Bataan

Robie de Guzman   •   October 24, 2019

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Thursday said its Fuel Marking Team has marked approximately 53 million liters of gasoil as part of its bid to curb oil smuggling in the country.

The BOC said the gasoil, with paid duties and taxes amounting to more than P400 million, was from the Unioil Petroleum Philippines.

In a statement, the bureau said the initial marking activity was conducted at Unioil’s Terminal Depot in Mariveles, Bataan on Oct. 22.

The team poured the fuel marker into the storage tanks to blend with the petroleum products discharged from the carrying vessel.

The activity was led by Port of Limay District Collector Michael Angelo DC Vargas together with the representatives from fuel marking provider SGS-SICPA and Oilink International Corp. Terminal Depot.  

Last July, the government held a simulation on fuel marking and testing process in Subic, Zambales. The simulation was aimed at identifying possible gaps and areas for improvement in the process.

The fuel marking program, which was announced by the government in 2017, is envisioned to curb illicit trade of petroleum products in the country and help return the revenue stolen by oil smugglers.

The BOC said other fuel terminals like Pure Petroleum in Subic, Phoenix Petroleum in Calaca, SL Gas, Petron Limay, Filoil Bataan and Amlan Terminals are also set to mark their incoming fuel imports with the installation of satellite offices of the Fuel Marking Provider.

The BOC, Department of Finance (DOF), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), SGS-SICPA, and the fuel companies are working together to fast track the marking of all petroleum products before they are distributed to the market.

Authorities expect to mark all gasoline, diesel, and kerosene products by February 2020.

The BOC warned that non-compliant petroleum products and companies will face corresponding penalties such as the seizure of petroleum products and conveyances such as vessels or tank trucks, and closure of premises.

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