Reports on filing suspension cases vs importers a ‘hoax’

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The spokesman for the Bureau of Customs (BOC) has debunked news reports that circulated last week that the bureau already filed cases against a local cigarette manufacturer and 101 other importers by calling the reports a “hoax.”

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The news reports, according to Col. Neil Anthony Estrella, claimed that the BOC will file a temporary suspension of the accreditation of 101 importers and brokers because of questionable shipments and that Customs Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon had ordered Mighty Corporation and other companies to provide proof that their shipments were unintentionally misdeclared.

Estrella said they are still reviewing the matter, adding that the BOC did not release any statement that cases have been officially filed against the importers.

He added that the agency is not ruling out possibility of filing a case and suspending accreditation of any company if proven guilty during investigation.

The bureau earlier announced that it was probing various importers of oil, luxury vehicles and cigarettes but Estrella clarified the investigation is ongoing to take legal actions against errant importers.

Estrella said the BOC has officially suspended only six out of the 101 importers transacting at the bureau’s two major ports – Port of Manila (POM) and Manila International Container Port (MICP).

Based on a report from Mary Grace Malabed, Account Management Office head, the BOC has identified six consignees as part of the first batch of suspended importers.

The consignees were Holdhigh Trading, Coco Corporation Technologies, Manhattan Chemical Corporation, Trikis Enterprises, Harbinger International Trading and Richco Marketing.

“The importers mentioned were suspended for violating Customs importation laws, rules and regulations such as misdeclaration, failure to declare shipment and failure to submit necessary import permits from regulating government agencies,” Estrella said.

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