BOC nets P24B contraband, disaccredits 118 importers, brokers in 1H

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  • The Bureau of Customs seized P23.85 billion worth of contraband in the first half of 2023
  • It also revoked the accreditation of 118 importers and customs brokers
  • In addition, it marked 9.42 billion liters of fuel equivalent to P114.53 billion in duties and taxes
  • For the same period in review, digitalization of processes reached 96.39%

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) seized P23.85 billion worth of smuggled items and revoked the accreditation of 118 importers and customs brokers in the first half of 2023.

The smuggled goods were seized during 603 anti-smuggling operations from January to June, BOC said in a statement highlighting its achievements for the period.

The value of the goods apprehended was 185% higher than the P8.37 billion worth of contraband seized from 293 operations year-on-year.

BOC said the top commodities confiscated were counterfeit products, agricultural products, tobacco products, illegal drugs, and general merchandise.

It cited some notable seizures: P86 million worth of misdeclared sugar shipment from Hong Kong intercepted in Subic Port on March 15; P1.4 billion worth of imported cigarettes found in a Sulu warehouse on March 2; and the P3.8 million worth of methamphetamine hydrochloride or “shabu” shipment seized at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport DHL Express Warehouse on May 8.

In the first half of the year, BOC also revoked the accreditation of 85 importers and 33 customs brokers for alleged breach of customs laws. Additionally, 74 criminal complaints were filed with the Department of Justice, and two administrative complaints were lodged at the Professional Regulation Commission against violators of customs laws.

Further, BOC marked 9.42 billion liters of fuel, with P114.53 billion of equivalent duties and taxes, in the first half of 2023. This was slightly higher than the 9 billion liters marked during the same period last year, but 3% lower than the equivalent P118 billion duties and taxes.

The bureau’s digitalization efforts also reached 96.39%, or 160 of 166 customs procedures under its 2021 Citizen’s Charter.

BOC said information and communications technology (ICT) projects that would further enhance efficiency and transparency include the e-Service Catalog System, Document Management System, Overstaying Cargo Tracking System, Automated Export Declaration System, and Customs Auction Monitoring System.

From January to June 2023, BOC collected P433.43 billion, surpassing its P420.66-billion goal by 3.04%. BOC generated P1.26 billion revenue from audit findings and Prior Disclosure Program applications, as well as P29.72 million from public auctions held by the collection districts of the Port of Manila, Davao, and Manila International Container Port.

BOC’s Human Resource Management Division also implemented a comprehensive merit and selection program, hiring 71 new personnel and promoting 214 existing staff in the first half of the year.

This year, BOC’s five-point priority program focuses on digitalization, revenue collection, trade facilitation, smuggling prevention, and employee welfare.

READ: New BOC chief assumes office, tasked to prioritize digitalization