PH returns last batch of hazardous waste to South Korea

Robie de Guzman   •   August 5, 2020   •   465

MANILA, Philippines – The remaining shipment containing 6,000 metric tons of household hazardous waste was finally sent back to South Korea from the Port of Cagayan de Oro, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Wednesday.

In a statement, the BOC said the shipment, comprised of 80 containers and loaded on MV Mahia, was re-exported to its origin in Pyeongtaek City on August 4.

There-exportation of the wastes resumed on Tuesday after being halted for some time due to the restrictions imposed amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, it added.

The re-exportation of 251 containers of wastes from South Korea was initiated by the BOC in January but got delayed due to the pandemic, and the failure of the consignee to secure prior import permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The bureau said that waste shipments arrived in the country in 2018 at the Port of Cagayan on two separate occasions. It was consigned to Verde Soko Philippines Industrial Corporation.

The shipments were both declared plastic synthetic flakes but an inspection conducted by the DENR-Environmental Management Bureau revealed that these contained household hazardous wastes.

The bureau ordered the immediate return of the shipments pursuant to Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Nuclear Wastes Control Act, and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their disposal.

Customs NAIA seizes $38,700 US Dollar bills hidden inside magazines

Robie de Guzman   •   November 17, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday said its operatives at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have intercepted a total of $38,700 US Dollar bills concealed between pages of magazines.

In a statement, the BOC said the bills were found hidden inside three packages in Fedex Warehouse.

The parcels, misdeclared as “documents,” arrived on Nov. 2. These were all sent by a certain Jacqueline Paas from the United States of America and are consigned to individuals from Poblacion, Muntinlupa City.

When subjected to 100% physical examination, the packages were found to contain the smuggled banknotes.

Just last week, the BOC NAIA similarly intercepted US$13,500 undeclared foreign currencies.

In sum, for the year 2020, the port issued Warrants of Seizure and Detention against various currencies with aggregate equivalent value of Php29,875,000.

“The seized foreign currencies shall be subjected to seizure and forfeiture proceedings in violation of Sections 1400 (Misdeclaration) and 1113 of R.A. No. 10863 (CMTA) in relation to the R.A. 7653 (New Central Bank Act) and BSP Foreign Exchange Transaction Manual,” the BOC said.

The bureau reminded the public that the BSP Manual of Foreign Exchange Transaction requires the faithful declaration and accomplishment of Foreign Currency Declaration Forms for importation and exportation of foreign currency in excess of USD10,000 or its equivalent.

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

Robie de Guzman   •   November 13, 2020

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.”

BOC destroys P374 million worth of smuggled cigarettes

Robie de Guzman   •   November 11, 2020

Around eight containers of seized smuggled cigarettes estimated to worth P374 million were destroyed in the port of Cebu, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

The BOC said the smuggled counterfeit cigarettes were apprehended through joint anti-smuggling operations of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), Enforcement and Security Service (ESS), X-Ray Inspection Project Team (XIP), and the Assessment Division.

The condemnation process was conducted last week at a facility of Pinoy Basurero Corporation/Arn Central Waste Management Inc. in Barangay Binaliw in Talamban, Cebu City, it added.

The items were destroyed with the help of the Port’s Enforcement and Security Service, Port Operations Division, and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, together with the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police.

BOC Acting District Collector Atty. Charlito Martin Mendoza said the immediate disposal of seized goods aims to prevent port congestion, avoid pilferage, and generate additional revenues for the government.


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