The Bureau of Customs (BOC) expects to generate more than P186 million from a public auction next week of overstaying rice shipments.
In a statement on Friday, the BOC-Manila International Container Port (MICP) said the public auction, slated for Tuesday, is in compliance with the directive of Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina to raise non-traditional revenues out of overstaying shipments and decongest the container yards.
Up for auction are 200,000 sacks, or more than 10 million kilos of rice shipments and other assorted items.
BOC-MICP District Collector Elmir de la Cruz, said the auction is meant to preserve the value and quality of the goods, pursuant to a provision (Section 2607) of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP).
“The public auction will include the selling of over 10,000 tons of overstaying rice shipments, majority of which are consigned to Silent Royalty Marketing and Starcraft International Trading, which arrived in MICP two years ago,” he said.
According to BOC-MICP Auction and Disposal Division Chief Gerry Macatangay, the agency was not able to auction earlier the rice shipment consigned to Silent Royalty and Starcraft because of court cases that importers filed against the BOC.
The bureau seized illegally imported rice shipments of Silent Royalty and Starcraft in 2013 and filed smuggling-related charges at the Department of Justice against the two firm and Customs brokers of the said companies for bringing in rice without the proper government permits in violation of the TCCP and for importing rice in excess of the Minimum Access Volume set by the National Food Authority (NFA)
Both Starcraft and Silent Royalty filed charges against the BOC claiming that private importers could bring in rice without security permits as import restrictions had already been lifted through a World Trade Organization agreement in 2012.
The bureau, however, argued that under Philippine laws, only the NFA can import rice and companies who wish to do the same must secure an import permit from the agency.
“Even if there are charges pending in court, we will auction off the 336 20-footer container vans of white and glutinous rice consigned to Silent Royalty Marketing and 63 20-footer container vans of white and glutinous rice consigned to Starcraft International Trading that arrived last October and November 2013. The proceeds that will come from the sale of these shipments will be held in trust pursuant to Section 2607 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines,” Macatangay said.
Meanwhile, the Customs bureau said other items up for auction are rice shipments from Greyvoid Corp. and Intercontinental Grains; assorted motorcycle parts, bicycles from Panda Vine International Trading; assorted apparel from Pie Link Trading; 1 unit 2006 Toyota RAV4 from Juan Ballinan Jose; and used speakers, piano, refrigerator, furniture, kitchenwares, toys, bicycles, from Marilou Vidal Surplus Enterprise.
“The Law Division-MICP, sent a notice to claim or file entry to the said consignees but said letters came back for the reason that the consignees were no longer located at the address indicated in the manifest,” Macatangay said.
“Their lawyers were also furnished a copy of said notice to file entry,” he added.
The BOC said public viewing of merchandise and pre-bid conference for all qualified bidders will be on Monday.