Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals, Press Releases » BOC confiscates P2M ukay-ukay merchandise at Manila port

The 40-footer container that contained the prohibited import arrived at a Manila port from Hong Kong on February 27 but the entry was filed only on March 6. Photo from the BOC.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has seized a 40-footer containing ukay-ukay, a prohibited import, at the Manila International Container Port (MICP) worth P2.1 million and declared to hold personal effects and household goods.

In a press briefing on April 11, Customs Commissioner Isidro Lapeña said the container arrived at MICP from Hong Kong on February 27 but the entry was filed only on March 6. The boxes were made to look like balikbayan boxes but had no addresses and markings, which further raised suspicions.

An alert order was issued on March 7 by then MICP district collector Atty. Balmyrson Valdez to prevent the release of the prohibited shipment.

The shipment was consigned to Proline Logistics Phils. Inc. with office address at Units 302 & 302A The Centennial, Escolta St., Binondo, Manila, and processed by customs broker Salvador Labiano, Jr.

The shipment will undergo seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of the Republic Act (R.A.) No. 4653, or “An Act to Safeguard the Health of the People and Maintain the Dignity of the Nation by Declaring It a National Policy to Prohibit Commercial Importation of Textile Articles commonly known as Used Clothing and Rags.”

The importer also misdeclared the goods in violation of Section 1400 (Misdeclaration, Misclassification, and Undervaluation in Goods Declaration) of R.A. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

“We will be filing charges against the importer and broker involved in the illegal importation of prohibited goods. And if warranted, we will suspend their Customs accreditation,” Lapeña said.

The ukay-ukay, meanwhile, will be destroyed.

The Customs chief admitted that BOC has not yet stopped “100%” the entry of ukay-ukay products in the country despite it being prohibited by law.

“But as you can see, we have intensified our efforts against smuggling and we will continue to intensify this,” he said.

He appealed to the public not to patronize ukay-ukay because of health hazards as such used clothing may have come from anywhere and may not have been sanitized.

He noted that R.A. 4653 is for the benefit of the public and was passed “for the welfare of the Filipino people.”

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