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24 July 2024, 18:00 PM

BOC Guards against Infected and Contaminated Meat

April 7, 2022

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) reiterated that only meat and food products with import clearances issued by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Health (DOH) will be released from the BOC ports.

The Bureau, as part of its clearance procedures, requires importers to present permits issued by the regulatory agencies before releasing shipments. For meat and food products, the DA and the DOH are the primary government agencies that regulate the said commodities in the country.

As prescribed under the Food Safety Act of 2013, “Imported foods shall undergo cargo inspection and clearance procedures by the DA and the DOH at the first port of entry to determine compliance with national regulations.” Such rules are strictly enforced in all BOC ports nationwide.

During the first border inspection, the BOC, together with the DA and DOH, examine only 10% of the subject container. The 100% physical examination shall only be done during the second border inspection by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI), and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) at their accredited warehouses.

Accordingly, the determination of whether a meat or food importation is contaminated by a disease such as the avian influenza (H5N1) or bird flu virus is conducted by the DA and the DOH.

Moreover, the Bureau has been cascading the list of countries affected by the H5N1 virus to all its Ports and has been very vigilant in its implementation. The BOC remains on alert against hazardous meat and food products that may pose danger to the general public. Close coordination with trade regulatory agencies is being observed to ensure the safety and protection of the public.

Republic of the Philippines

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