Home » Customs & Trade » Customs outlines anti-smuggling measures

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) defended recently its anti-smuggling measures in the face of complaints by the Fair Trade Alliance (FTA).

Customs Commissioner Antonio M. Bernardo said the bureau has already closed down 992 warehouses in three months after these were proven to have violated the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines. The figure is more than half the total number of Customs Bonded Trading Warehouses (CBTWs) operating in the country.

“Customs is phasing out general CBTWs and are replacing them with industry-specific ones tightly-controlled and monitored by the government,” he noted.

FTA recently questioned BOC on the existence of certain CBTWs allegedly used as a front for smuggling.

The group also claimed about P200 billion is lost every year to smugglers, an amount “sufficient to cover up the government’s fiscal deficit.”

It pointed out that thousands in the shoe, garlic and textiles industry have lost their jobs due to the influx of undervalued and smuggled goods from China.

“Since the 1970s, there were about 200 textile companies operating in the country, but today there are only ten left. The entire garlic industry has also been wiped out and the onion industry is threatened to extinction, as does the shoe industry,” FTA said.

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