Home » Customs & Trade » Rule on truck impounding stays, says Customs chief

THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) shot down proposals of the Confederation of Truckers Association of the Philippines (CTAP) to immediately release trucks being investigated for carrying smuggled or misdeclared items.

Trucks, together with the questionable cargo, are impounded at BOC compounds while an investigation is ongoing.

“The immediate release of trucks apprehended for allegedly carrying smuggled goods is not feasible. It’s a risk truckers have to take as trucks could be part and parcel of the illegal activity and we have to make sure that the operator had no hand in the activity,” Customs commissioner Napoleon Morales told PortCalls.

CTAP is asking the BOC to issue an order releasing all impounded cargo trucks under its custody and to order its officials to refrain from impounding trucks unless there is concrete proof that the driver or owner conspired to violate provisions of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines. It also wants a fixed holding period for trucks.

“While admittedly, misdeclaration of imported goods is a violation of the TCCP, the violator is the importer of the goods and not the cargo truck. The situation may be otherwise if, through concrete proof, the cargo driver or trucker is a party to said misdeclaration, in which case the trucker or driver, along with the importer may be prosecuted for violating the TCCP,” CTAP president Col Rodolfo De Ocampo earlier told PortCalls.

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