Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez ordered the seizure today of 16 twenty-footer container vans laden with China-made ceramic tiles.
The shipments of imported tiles, worth at least P16 million, were misdeclared by Condor Enterprises as floor covering and carpet tiles.
Alvarez said the illegal importation was detected and foiled by the Bureau’s Enforcement and Security Service (ESS) based on information provided to A/SPAS Isabelo Tibayan by Mr. Benjamin Laurel, president of the Ceramic Tile Manufacturers Association.
Customs Police Director Nestorio P. Gualberto recommended to Deputy Commissioner Horacio P. Suansing the issuance of Alert Order against the misdeclared shipments which arrived May 27 at the Manila International Container Port on board vessels M/V Song Yun He and M/V Sinotrans Shenzen.
According to Alvarez, today’s seizure was the 3rd successful smuggled tiles apprehension carried out by customs operatives in the last 6 weeks. It came on the heels of the seizure last April 29 of 5 containers of ceramic tiles consigned to Goldware Marketing and the confiscation last May 6 of two other containers consigned to Cren Trading.
Quoting from Tibayan’s report, Suansing said Condor Enterprises declared the shipment’s entire value at only US $99,712 (P4.4 million) when verifications made with BOC’s value reference system showed that it was actually worth more than P16 million).
Alvarez explained that the country’s Customs and Tariff Code authorized the BOC to confiscate in favor of the government imported goods that were grossly undervalued, misdeclared and misclassified.
The customs chief expressed hope that today’s Seizure will come as a welcome relief for local tile manufacturers who have long been complaining of unfair competition from imported ceramic tiles.
The customs chief ordered an immediate investigation of the matter to unmask the personalities behind the smuggling attempts.
As a result of their latest accomplishment, Alvarez commended Deputy Commissioner Suansing, ESS Director Nestorio P. Gualberto and Tibayan for again demonstrating the agency’s resolve to put an end to all forms of customs fraud.