THE Bureau of Customs (BOC) is subjecting all Subic-bound cargoes to 100% scanning to reduce smuggling at the same time increase revenue collection.
In his order to Subic Port collector Marietta Zamoranos, Customs Commissioner Napoleon Morales said the measure will prevent the entry of anti-social goods such as illicit drugs and firearms that remain high in the port.
The freeport has been under tight government watch since last year after a series of smuggling activities involving oil and luxury cars were recorded.
A customs clearance area (CCA) equipped with scanning machines will be set up to achieve enforcement control within the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).
“The CCA will serve as clearing and processing center for goods and cargoes entering the special economic and freeport zones from Customs territories,” Morales said.
Customs x-ray chief Atty. Lourdes Mangaoang said the BOC is seeking a 10% increase in revenue collection from cargo scanning this year.
Customs charges a scanning fee of $5 for every 20-footer and $10 for every 40-footer that passes through its jurisdiction.
The x-ray machines are not only a tool for enforcement but are used as an aid for assessment since they can detect discrepancies in import entries and the actual content of containers.
From May 2007 to end-April, the use of x-ray machines helped avert the entry of P1.5 billion worth of toluene, an ingredient in the manufacture of shabu, and were instrumental in stopping the entry of P6 million worth of master copies of pornographic materials and replicating machines.
The x-rays also detected a high-grade iron wire misdeclared as construction material. As a result, the BOC is seeking P1.5 million in taxes from the consignee of the P9-million shipment.
In addition, the Customs x-ray team intercepted a P6-million shipment of moonfish from Xiamen, China misdeclared as mackerel. Moonfish is served as a delicacy in most Chinese restaurants and sold for P1,000 to P1,500 per 100 grams. It is a regulated importation requiring a permit from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.