Home » Customs & Trade, Ports/Terminals » Xray for CBW-bound container cargo mandatory, reminds BOC

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) has reiterated the need to strictly implement mandatory x-ray of all containerized cargoes bound for customs bonded warehouses (CBWs).

Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero, in a memorandum dated September 12 and signed September 17, reiterates the strict and immediate compliance with a September 14, 2017 memorandum requiring the mandatory x-ray examination of all containerized cargoes bound for CBWs.

The 2017 memorandum, signed by then Customs commissioner Isidro Lapeña, was issued “in the midst of the intensified efforts being put forth by the Bureau to curb smuggling of goods and as an additional measure to ensure the conduct of secure trade.”

The order considered the suggestion of Assessment and Operations Coordination Group deputy commissioner Atty. Edward James Dy Buco to put CBW shipments through mandatory inspection.

According to Dy Buco then, containerized cargoes imported through the CBW mode and with “red” selectivity status had not been undergoing mandatory 100% x-ray examination, as “the square root rule is instead being practiced” to avoid delay in their release.

Dy Buco said that there was “a growing concern that the square root rule, while it facilitates trade, may give smugglers an avenue to conduct illicit trade under warehousing. He added that the Commissioner thus needed to address this concern “by issuing a memorandum requiring the mandatory x-ray examination of all containerized cargoes consigned and bound to bonded warehouses.”

“The immediate issuance of this memorandum is necessary to ensure that the customs bonded warehouse shall not be used for smuggling and illegal trade,” he said, referring to comments from concerned BOC offices.

Around that time in 2017, the Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (SINAG) issued a statement urging BOC to run after players (smugglers) preying on unsuspecting CBWs as a cover for their smuggling activities.

SINAG had bared reports that these players were allegedly co-opting CBW warehousemen and security personnel to allow the use of CBWs as consignees for smuggled items, unknown to the principals or owners of the merchandise.

BOC in 2017 also ordered all district collectors and chiefs of offices to strictly follow a customs memorandum order dated August 4, 1994 to underguard shipments consigned to CBWs to protect government interest.

CBWs are generally BOC-licensed warehouses where imported articles are stored without payment of duties and taxes, provided the finished products are reexported within a prescribed period.

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