BOC forfeits rice worth P42M

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BOC forfeits rice worth P42M
The 42,180 sacks of Alas Jasmine Fragrant Rice were not covered by the requisite Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance from the Bureau of Plant Industry. Photo from the Bureau of Customs.
  • The Bureau of Customs-Port of Zamboanga forfeited more than 42,000 sacks of rice worth P42 million in Zamboanga City
  • The goods did not have the required Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance from the Bureau of Plant Industry
  • Discrepancies were found in the actual seized goods against what was declared in the documents presented

The Bureau of Customs-Port of Zamboanga (BOC-POZ) forfeited more than 42,000 sacks of rice worth P42 million in Zamboanga City, the bureau said in a statement.

The BOC inspected a warehouse in Brgy. San Jose Gusu on May 19, 2023 after receiving information that there was smuggled rice in one of the stalls. The BOC was assisted by Coast Guard Intelligence Group-Southwestern Mindanao, Task Force Aduana, and Marine Battalion Landing Team 11, and armed with a Letter of Authority signed by Commissioner Bienvenido Rubio.

An inventory of the warehouse revealed 42,180 sacks of Alas Jasmine Fragrant Rice.

The owner’s representative submitted import documents covering the goods pursuant to Section 224 of the Republic Act No. 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA).

Upon verification of documents and investigation by the Enforcement and Security Service-Customs Police Division and Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service, it was found that the confiscated goods were not covered by the requisite Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Clearance from the Bureau of Plant Industry.

In addition, there were discrepancies in the actual seized goods against what was declared in the documents presented.

The proof of payment submitted referred to a shipment of “White Rice 15% Broken”; based on the actual examination, the seized sacks of rice were Jasmine Fragrant Rice”.

On September 1, 2023, the BOC-POZ issued an Order of Forfeiture against the subject sacks of rice for violation of Section 1113 (f) in relation to Section 117 of the CMTA of 2016, Rice Tariffication Law, and Republic Act No. 10845, otherwise known as the Anti-Agricultural Smuggling Act of 2016.

District Collector Arthur Sevilla Jr. said the Port of Zamboanga will continue to monitor and act on reports regarding smuggling in all forms. This is pursuant to Commissioner Bienvenido Y. Rubio’s and President Ferdinand R. Marcos’ marching order to go after hoarders and illegal importers of rice.

The forfeited goods will be disposed as provided for by law.

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