Retailers want a special window for rice imports in BOC

Marje Pelayo   •   November 7, 2018   •   2264

(file photo)

QUEZON CITY, Philippines – A total of 13 companies signified their interest to join the bidding to be set by the National Food Authority (NFA) for the 500,000 metric tons of rice imports.

The NFA has allotted up to P12B fund for the importation and the rice supply is expected to be delivered in the months of December this year and January next year.

The said rice imports are estimated at a price of P24 per kilogram.

The agreement, likewise, includes specific conditions including fumigation against pests especially rice weevils.

The NFA stressed that fumigation is the responsibility of the supplier even after the imported rice reached Manila ports.

“Iyong reckoning ng ownership ng stocks babayaran ng NFA at the quantity and the quality received doon sa pile sa warehouse na na-designate natin,” explained NFA Spokesperson Angel Imperial.

The NFA will also send inspectors to countries of origin to check on the quality of the rice imports before they are loaded in shipping vessels for delivery.

Retailers said they support the government’s effort to import additional rice buffer stocks which they believe helps stabilize rice prices in local markets.

“Masaya kami kung ito ay magtatagumpay para sa atin. Kasi tuloy tuloy talaga na yung presyo bigas mai-stabilize natin,” said Orlando Manuntag, the press officer of the Grain Retailers Confederation of the Philippines (GRECON).

However, the group calls for faster release of rice imports from ports to avoid long delays.

“Ma-suggest natin siguro sa NFA council na kausapin ang Bureau of Customs and then yung Pier Harbor na kapag NFA rice ang karga ng barko ay bigyan talaga ng priority para di naman masaktan yung mga exporter natin,” Manuntag concluded. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

P4.2M worth of smuggled cigarettes seized in Zamboanga

Marje Pelayo   •   November 8, 2019

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines — The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Tuesday (November 5) seized P4.2 million worth of smuggled cigarettes at Urban Poor Drive, Tugbungan, Zamboanga City.

The items consisting of 143 master cases and 40 reams of Bravo Red Cigarettes from Malaysia, were discovered aboard a panel truck with temporary plate No. 090104.

The smuggled cigarettes and the truck were immediately turned over to the BOC for inventory and proper disposition.

Meanwhile, the suspects involved were turned over to Zamboanga Police Office Station 06 for investigation and for filing of possible charges.

District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte Jr. said in a statement that the agency’s intensified anti-smuggling operations under the marching orders of BOC Commissioner Rey Guerrero mainly contributed to the apprehension.

Barte said seizure of fake and smuggled products will protect the public from possible health risks these items pose.

BOC reiterates: Meat, pork imports need clearance before release

Robie de Guzman   •   November 6, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on Wednesday reiterated that food imports such as meat and pork products must first be inspected and cleared before its release.

The BOC made the statement amid government efforts to prevent entry of food products that may contain diseases, particularly the African Swine Fever (ASF) in the country.

The bureau said that RepublicAct 10611 or the Food Safety Act of 2013 stipulates that “imported foods shall undergo cargo inspection and clearance procedures by the DA (Department of Agriculture) and the DOH (Department of Health) at the first port of entry to determine compliance with national regulations.”

The BOC added that this inspection will always be conducted prior to assessment for tariff and other charges.

To further ensure the safety of the public, the BOC said that boarding formalities on arriving vessels at any port entry are strictly conducted by the bureau and the Quarantine Officers of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

According to BOC Spokesperson and Assistant Commissioner Atty. Vincent Philip Maronilla, all imported agricultural goods contained in reefer containers undergo initial examination by the DA.

These will then be inspected by the BAI, BPI and BFAR at their accredited warehouses.

“In case of meat products, reefer container is sealed by BAI prior to the release of said imports from the BOC. The sealed reefer container will be further examined 100% by the National Meat Inspection Service in its accredited storage warehouse,” the statement read.

BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero emphasized that the bureau is prompt in acting against derogatory reports of shipments that may contain smuggled goods and other contraband and is serious in enforcing the law and the proper procedures against imported pork and meat products from ASF-hit countries.

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.

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