• Customs stops release of ‘Ukay-ukay’

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    The Bureau of Customs has secured a temporary relief from the Court of Appeals (CA) that allowed the implementation of a circular prohibiting the conditional release of importation or re-exportation of used clothing locally referred to as ukay-ukay. This came about after the appellate court’s Special Seventh Division issued a 60-day temporary restraining order preventing the implementation of the orders by the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 11 dated September 30, 2015 and November 10, 2015 that enjoined the enforcement of Customs Tariff Decision Circular No. 01-2015. The BOC argued in its petition that the lower court ignored the State’s policy of safeguarding public health by prohibiting the importation of used clothing as enshrined in Republic Act (RA) 4653 and implemented by CTD Circular No. 01-2015. The circular revoked all rulings, decisions and practices allowing the conditional release of imported used clothing in lieu of the strict implementation of RA 4653. The case concerns the importation of Coam Philippines Incorporated and Globaltex Impex Inc. of used clothing that earlier sought relief from the Manila RTC. The CA’s resolution penned by Associate Justice Elihu Ybanez and concurred in by Associate Justices Danton Bueser and Victoria Isabel Paredes states, “In effect, the respondent Judge [Cicero Jurado] placed private respondents’ rights on the pedestal to the detriment of the general welfare of the public in violation of the doctrine that private rights must yield when they come in conflict with this public policy and common interest.”

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