Imports of plant-based agri commodities must go through BPI-PQO, orders BOC

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Imports of plant-based agri commodities must go through BPI-PQO, orders BOC
  •  The Bureau of Customs ordered that all imports of plant-based agricultural commodities go through the Bureau of Plant Industry-Plant Quarantine Office at the respective ports for mandatory document verification and inspection
  • The procedure is in compliance with provisions of a 2016 Department of Agriculture circular providing guidelines on importation of plants, planting materials, and plant products for commercial purposes
  • The BOC reiteration is contained in a circular that refers to a letter sent by BPI director Gerald Glenn Panganiban to Customs commissioner Bienvenido Rubio, restating a request that plant-based agricultural commodities should go through the BPI-PQO for mandatory document verification and inspection

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) ordered that all imports of plant-based agricultural commodities go through the Bureau of Plant Industry-Plant Quarantine Office (BPI-PQO) at the respective ports for mandatory document verification and inspection.

This requirement is regardless of the categories that the plant-based agricultural commodities may fall under, according to Customs Memorandum Circular (CMC) No. 102-2024 signed on June 7 by Customs commissioner Bienvenido Rubio.

The CMC was issued in reference to the letter dated May 10, 2024 sent by BPI director Gerald Glenn Panganiban to Rubio, reiterating their request that plant-based agricultural commodities go through the BPI-PQO for mandatory document verification and inspection.

The procedure is in compliance with the provisions stated in Department of Agriculture (DA) Department Circular No. 4 series of 2016, which provides guidelines on the importation of plants, planting materials, and plant products for commercial purposes.

Under Article VI Section 23 of the DA circular, the plant commodities are subject to the existing procedures for inspection at the port of entry.

According to BPI-National Plant Quarantine Services Division, upon arrival of the consignment, the importer should apply for inspection (BPI Q Form No. 4) at the Plant Quarantine Service office in the port of entry. The importer should provide pertinent documents during inspection, while sample of the commodity will also be collected for laboratory analysis. – Roumina Pablo