Over P500,000 worth of smuggled rice seized in Cebu port

Robie de Guzman   •   August 12, 2020   •   948

More than half a million pesos worth of smuggled rice was intercepted at the Port of Cebu, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Wednesday.

The BOC said the shipment containing 495 bags of Myanmar White Rice was seized on August 10.

“This latest apprehension is the result of the intelligence and investigative work of the Port’s Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) headed by District Commander SPAS Jerry M. Arizabal,” the bureau said in a statement.

The bags of rice were intercepted after the ESS received information that a shipment that arrived at the Port of Cebu from Kaohsiung, Taiwan on July 23 was loaded with imported rice.

The bureau’s investigation showed that the inward foreign manifest declared the shipment to contain personal effects. It was consigned to a certain Theresa Lawas of Barangay Pansoy, Municipality of Sogod, Cebu.

However, verification with Barangay Pansoy revealed that it had no resident named Theresa Lawas.

With this information, Acting District Collector Atty. Charlito Martin Mendoza issued a Pre-Lodgement Control Order against the shipment on 29 July 2020.

“A 100% physical examination was subsequently conducted by Customs Examiner Odilon Bustamante in the presence of representatives from the ESS, X-ray Inspection Project (XIP), Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS), Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Chamber of Customs Brokers, Inc. (CCBI)-Cebu Chapter,” the BOC said.

The physical examination yielded 495 bags of Myanmar White Rice, and no personal effects as stated in the manifest, it added.

The bags of rice were also not covered by any Sanitary and Phytosanitary Clearance from the Bureau of Plant Industry.

Consequently, a Warrant of Seizure and Detention against the shipment for violation of Section 1113(f) and (l) par. 5of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

The BOC reminded importers to properly declare their goods, and identify themselves in shipping documents. It also called on the public to report to the Bureau any information about illegal shipments that are attempted to be brought into the country.

P3B revenues collected from pork imports under reduced tariff, increased MAV system

Robie de Guzman   •   November 23, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has posted collections amounting to P3 billion from swine meat imports under a reduced tariff system, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

In a statement, the DOF said that the BOC reported 197 million kilograms (kg) of pork imports from April 7 to Nov. 12 this year.

However, the bureau estimated that it has foregone some P3.4 billion in revenues as of November due to the decreased tariff scheme.

The reduced tariff system was implemented in the second quarter of this year to boost the supply of pork and stabilize its retail prices in the domestic market.

To recall, President Rodrigo Duterte had issued a series of executive orders (EOs) that took effect starting April 7 to lower pork import tariffs and increase the allowable import volumes of the meat to help stabilize the domestic supply and prices of this food staple for the benefit of Filipino consumers.

Executive Order (EO) No. 128, which lowered pork import tariffs to 5 percent within its minimum access volume (MAV) and 15 percent outside MAV for the first three months, was in effect from April 7 to May 14.

EO 134, which superseded EO 128, set tariffs on pork imports under the MAV to 10 percent for the first three months, and 15 percent in the next nine months.

For imports outside the MAV, the tariffs are 20 percent for the first three months and 25 percent in the succeeding nine months.

The one-year effectivity of EO 134 began on May 15, 2021.

“To compute for the effect of the two EOs, we multiplied the dutiable value of meat by 25 percent—less 5 percent and 15 percent—which were already paid for EO 128, and multiply the dutiable value by 20 percent and 15 percent for EO 134. The result showed a revenue loss of P3.4 billion,” BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero said during a recent meeting with DOF.

Guerrero said the volume of pork imports started spiking in March and continuously grew in April to May, but dropped starting June.

The volume of pork imports in April, the month when the two EOs took effect, grew 500.46 percent, from 4.07 million kg in the same month last year to 24.45 million kg.

“This dramatic increase in pork import volumes continued in May, when a total of 36.5 million kg entered the country, representing a 506-percent hike from the 6.02 million kg imported during the same period in 2020,” the BOC said.

In June, the bureau said that pork imports reached 33.62 million kg, which was 531.39 percent more than the 5.32 million kg brought into the country during the same period last year.

“Pork imports continued its steady drop in July, when volumes totaled 31.18 million kg, which was 370.4 percent more than the 6.63 million kg, recorded in the same month of 2020,” it added.

The agency also noted that in August, pork imports increased 271.59 percent year-on-year, and dropped to 164.55 percent in September and 78.47 percent in October.

The volume of pork imports was 6.41 million kg in August 2020 and 23.82 million kg in August 2021; 9.73 million kg in September 2o20 and 25.73 million kg in September 2021; and 10.85 million kg in October 2020 and 19.36 million kg in October 2021.

From November 1-12, pork imports of 7.47 million kg were lower by 11.64 percent compared to last year’s 8.46 million for the same period.

Smuggled onions declared as ‘mantou’ seized in Misamis Oriental

Robie de Guzman   •   November 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Five containers of smuggled red onions misdeclared as “mantou” or Chinese steamed buns were seized in Misamis Oriental, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said Friday.

In a statement, the BOC said its personnel at the Port of Cagayan confiscated the shipment after a spot inspection on Thursday at the Mindanao Container Terminal Sub-Port in Tagoloan town.

The shipment from China arrived at the port on November 13. It was consigned to EMV Consumer Goods Trading.

“After receiving a derogatory information from the Intelligence Group that the shipment may contain smuggled goods, Oliver Valiente, Chief, CIIS CDO Field Station requested District Collector Atty. Elvira Cruz to conduct a spot-check inspection against the said shipment,” the BOC said.

The shipment was estimated to be worth P14 million.

“CIIS CDO already requested for the grounding of the 19 remaining containers consigned to the same consignee pending a physical examination,” the bureau said.

A Warrant of Seizure and Detention will be issued against the shipment while the consignee may face charges for violation of the provisions of RA 10863 or Customs Modernization and Tariff Act, the BOC added.

Customs seizes over P3 million worth of ecstasy pills in Rizal

Robie de Guzman   •   November 18, 2021

 MANILA, Philippines — A parcel containing ecstasy pills with an estimated market value of P3,388,100 was confiscated in Taytay, Rizal, the Bureau of Customs (BOC) said.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the BOC said its agents at the Port of Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and NAIA Inter-Agency Drug Interdiction Task Group (IADITG) seized the illegal drugs in an operation on November 16.

The operation was conducted with the Port of NAIA Enforcement and Security Service Customs Anti-illegal Drugs Task Force.

The shipment, which contained a total of 1,993 ecstasy tablets originated from Germany and was consigned to a certain Heart Valerine Garcia Cruz.

The shipment was originally declared as a wedding dress but was later found to contain illegal drugs when subjected to physical examination.

The parcel’s claimant was apprehended during the operation, the BOC said.

The seized illegal drugs have been turned over to PDEA for further investigation, it added.

Charges for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9165 or the Comprehensive Drugs Act as well as RA 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) may also be filed, the BOC said.

 

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