Customs destroys P13.5-M worth 'misdeclared' onions

Philippine News AgencySeptember 28, 2021

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Imported onions from China mislabeled as food items worth PHP13.5 million were destroyed by the Bureau of Customs (BOC) 10 (Northern Mindanao) recently, the agency said Tuesday.

Oliver Valiente, chief of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service in the region, said they intercepted the imported agricultural commodity after receiving information about the shipment from China which was declared to contain “cream cheese” and “frozen puff pastries.”

“The shipment consigned of JDFallar Consumer Goods Trading arrived at Mindanao Container Terminal Sub-port last August 10, 2021,” Valiente said in an interview.

Upon issuance of an alert order by lawyer Elvira Cruz, BOC-10 district collector, the shipment was then subjected to a physical examination resulting in the discovery of onions, a violation under Section 1400 of Republic Act 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA) for misdeclaration.

A case of violation of the CMTA will be filed against the consignee of the smuggled goods, she said.

In a Facebook post, the BOC-10 said the sezied oninon were burned and buried in a pit inside the facility of Terra Cycliq Corporation in Barangay Mantibugao, Manolo Fortich town, Bukidnon on Sept. 18.

“Misdeclaration of goods defrauds the government of its rightful revenues,” Cruz said.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Cris Angelo Andrade, BOC-10 information officer, said the agency decided to destroy the onions as these were no longer viable for disposal through bidding due to the physical condition of the products.

“Many of the onions have started to rot and smell and some have sprouts growing on them. Selling them to the market was no longer an option,” Andrade said, adding that the agricultural produce did not have permits from the Bureau of Plant Industry, Bureau of Quarantine, and the Department of Trade and Industry.

Smuggled cigarettes

Meanwhile, the BOC-10, through the Bureau’s Action Team Against Smugglers (Batas), has filed criminal complaints against an importer of cigarettes smuggled into the country.

The complaint was filed against LMRC 418 Direct Import Export Corporation due to the alleged misdeclaration of two containers of filtered cigarettes and premium filter kings estimated to be worth PHP78.8 million at the port of Cagayan de Oro on February 2.

The legal action initiated by the BOC-10 stems from the importer’s violation of CMTA in relation to Customs memorandum 20-2006, Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Law, National Tobacco Administration board resolution 079-2005, National Tobacco memorandum circular 3 series of 2004, and the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.

“The Bureau of Customs has strengthened its investigation and legal action against the unscrupulous importer and customs brokers involved in illegal and irregular activities,” the agency said. (PNA)

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