Ben Zachary Agricultural Trading is being charged for alleged unlawful importation of 1,992 bags of onions without a Department of Agriculture import permit or clearance
Also charged were Happy Chef employees for alleged unauthorized disarming of electronic customs seals under the Electronic Tracking of Containerized Cargoes System
The Bureau of Customs (BOC) on June 11 filed before the Department of Justice criminal complaints against two companies for alleged violation of Customs laws.
The first case against Ben Zachary Agricultural Trading is for alleged unlawful importation of 1,992 bags of onions without an import permit or clearance required under the Department of Agriculture (DA). The goods worth P925,131.20 were shipped at the Port of Davao on April 2.
The importer was charged for one count of violation of Section 1401 (c) in relation to Sections 1430, 1113 (l) (5), 117, and 404 of Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), and Section III (A) of DA Administrative Order No. 09, Series of 2010 in relation to DA Administrative Order No. 02, Series of 2020, also known as the “Strengthened Guidelines in Monitoring and Evaluation of Local Production and Importation of Onion (allium cepa) and Garlic (allium sativum).”
The second case is against employees of Happy Chef Inc. for alleged unlawful and unauthorized disarming of electronic customs seals under the Electronic Tracking of Containerized Cargoes (E-TRACC) System. The container was disarmed on November 13, 2020 at the warehouse of Happy Chef Inc. without an end trip authorization from the Bureau of Customs–Piers and Inspection Division.
Under the E-TRACC system, an electronic customs seal is required during the transfer of cargo to a container yard/container freight station or other customs facilities and warehouses; transit of cargo bound for Free Zones, inland customs office, depots, or terminals; transit to CBWs; export of cargo from Free Zones, inland customs office, depots or terminals, and CBWs to port of loading; and transfer of shipments subject to further verification and/or monitoring.
The respondents allegedly violated Sections 10.13.1 and 10.13.4 of the Customs Memorandum Order No. 04-2020 in relation to Sections 10.12 and 14 of the CMO 04-2020 and Sections 1420, 1421, and 1430 of the CMTA.
In 2021, 42 criminal cases have been filed before the DOJ against unscrupulous importers and customs brokers.