Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals, Press Releases » BOC seizes misdeclared shipments worth P33M at Manila ports

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) busted nine 40-foot equivalent units (FEUs) containing rice, various items, and used clothing (ukay-ukay) worth about P33 million for alleged misdeclaration and gross undervaluation.

Five of the nine seized FEUs came from China, arriving at the Port of Manila on separate dates. The four others were captured at the Manila International Container Port (MICP).

Customs commissioner Isidro Lapeña in a press briefing on May 7 said the five shipments were consigned to IT Malingco Trading Corporation, Abundanceprime Chemicals Trading Corporation, Archerson Trading, Sto. Niño Marketing, and Fastworth Marketing.

Several containers of Abundanceprime and Sto. Niño have also been seized previously by BOC for reported misdeclaration and undervaluation.

The signing customs brokers for the seized shipments were identified as Erlinda Dumalaog, Mohammad Salman Cosain Amerol, Christian Lao, Christine May Burlaza, and Henry Ferrer.

The shipments were declared to contain grocery items, glass cups, bottles, mugs, wheel rims, footwear, and general merchandise, but were found to contain air fresheners, toothpaste, shampoo, cosmetic products, and electronic cigarettes without the necessary Food and Drug Administration permit; undeclared sacks of rice without permit from the National Food Authority; and Ziplock bags, housewares, wheel rims, and counterfeit shoes.

One FEU of Abundanceprime was also found to contain an unknown white substance that yielded a negative result for illegal drugs when examined by the Customs Anti-Illegal Drugs Taskforce.

The container with undeclared sacks of rice was consigned to Fastworth Marketing’s shipment.

“We cannot yet divulge the actual number of sacks inside the container since the customs examiners are still doing an inventory of the smuggled rice,” Lapeña said.

He said the district collector of the Port of Manila has already issued a warrant of seizure and detention (WSD) for the five containers.

Misdeclaration and undervaluation are in violation of Section 1400 (Misdeclaration, Misclassification, and Undervaluation in Goods Declaration) of Republic Act (RA) 10863, otherwise known as the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act.

The remaining four FEUs, which contained office chairs and used clothing worth around P8 million, were seized at MICP for alleged misdeclaration.

One FEU consigned to Chuanshun Electric (Phils) Inc. was declared to contain transformers from Hong Kong but actually contained office chairs.

The three FEUs consigned to Epad Freight Forwarder and coming from Dubai and Singapore were declared to contain personal effects but when inspected revealed boxes of used clothing.

The shipments will undergo seizure and forfeiture proceedings for violation of Republic Act 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.”

Entry declarations showed Christopher Siate as the signing customs broker of Chuansun, while Manuel Tolentino is the customs broker of Epad.

Lapeña said the accreditation of the importers and customs brokers of the nine containers has been automatically suspended.

The MICP district collector has also issued WSD for the four shipments.

All the seized items, except the sacks of rice that will be auctioned, are to be destroyed.

Ground inspections to go on

Lapeña said BOC will continue to conduct ground inspections of containers as this has yielded positive results and led to the seizure of misdeclared and undervalued shipments.

“We will continue the ground inspection to remind the importers that we are serious in our campaign against smuggling. They have to correct their ways and stop the rampant misdeclaration and undervaluation and as it defrauds the government of its rightful revenues,” Lapeña said.

Lapeña also noted that more people are providing information to BOC as they are “encouraged by the way we do things and they see the seriousness and the sincerity of the Bureau of Customs officials in performing their mandated tasks.”

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