BOC vows stiff crackdown vs. smuggled agri products

MANILA The Bureau of Customs (BOC) assured increased action against smuggled agricultural products by tightly screening such shipments upon the request of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

At present there is a standing request ftom Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel PiAol that all agriculture products would be alerted for examination, Customs Commissioner Isidro LapeAa said during the inspection of the PHP4.5-million onions shipment seized at the Port of Manila (POM) Monday.

The three units of 40-footer container vans were allegedly smuggled from China and arrived at the POM last May 22 and were misdeclared as ceramic products such as mugs, saucers and decorations.

LapeAa noted that the illegal shipments were detected after undergoing screening through the X-Ray Inspection Project (XIP).

The shipments were reportedly consigned to Precious Prince Enterprises with office address at 15320-B St. Michael St., San Agustin Village, Moonwalk, Paranaque City with Reymund Ledesma Cigaraya of Batasan Hills as the customs broker for the shipment.

A warrant for seizure and detention will be issued against the PHP4.5-million worth shipment for violating Section 1400 in relation to Sections 1113 and 1401 of the Customs Modernization Tariff Act, LapeAa said.

Appropriate charges are being readied against the importer and customs broker whose accreditations with the bureau would either be immediately suspended or revoked.

The seized onions would be destroyed, the BOC said.

LapeAa said strict monitoring of these shipments protect local farmers and serve as a quality control measure to prevent the entry of imported agricultural products that are not safe for human consumption. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency