SOME P53 million worth of agricultural products were seized by the Bureau of Customs-Port of Manila (BoC-PoM), for misdeclaration and lack of importation permit.
PoM Collector Arsenia Ilagan said on Wednesay that a warrant of seizure and detention (WSD) was issued against the shipment for violation of the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).
The consignee or importer is also liable for violation of Republic Act (RA) 10845 or the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016. Agricultural smuggling, including rice worth P1 million and above, is punishable by a non-bailable offense of economic sabotage.
RA 10845 also penalizes agricultural smugglers and their cohorts with life imprisonment, and a fine of twice the fair value of the smuggled agricultural products and the aggregate amount of the taxes/duties/charges avoided.
The seized goods, consisting of 16 containers of carrots, onions, broccoli and potatoes, came from China and were declared by the consignee as fishball with a total declared duties and taxes of of P2.5 million.
During the inspection, customs examiners found out an estimated P20.080 million worth of carrots, P20.080 million worth of onions, P10.040 million worth of broccoli and P2.5 million worth of potatoes.
Ilagan identified the consignee as Shinerise Trading Service and the customs borker as Johnna Philipian Cristoba Acevada.
“I have already ordered the cancelation of the consignee’s accreditation, while the customs broker is under investigation,” Ilagan added.
Last month, the BoC also seized P24 million worth of misdeclared shipments of carrots, onions and potatoes at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) and P665,000 worth or smuggled rice at the Port of Zamboanga. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL