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Philippine Standard Time:
23 June 2024, 15:43 PM

BOC INTENSIFIES CAMPAIGN TO CURB AGRI SMUGGLING

August 10, 2022

The Bureau of Customs recorded 66 cases of seizures of agricultural products with an estimated value of P701. 82 million from January to August 7, 2022.

In addition, the BOC filed 25 criminal cases before the Department of Justice against 71 unscrupulous individuals composed of importers, exporters, and customs brokers for unlawful importation and exportation of agricultural products with a total dutiable value of P186.98 million and total duties and taxes amounting to Php 76 million.

Acting Customs Commissioner Yogi Filemon Ruiz said the bureau was profiling suspected smugglers as a preventive measure to suppress their illegal activities.

In addition, Ruiz said that intensified intelligence and enforcement operations and consistent examination and inspection of containers in various ports of entry nationwide had been put in place.

He also said the BOC conducts ongoing administrative investigations against BOC officials and personnel allegedly involved in illegal and irregular activities.

Recently, the BOC Commissioner met with the League of Associations of La Trinidad Vegetables to discuss measures to suppress agricultural smuggling that heavily affects the local farmers.

Yesterday, Manuel Lamata, chairman of the United Sugar Producers Federation (UNiFED), assured the Commissioner of the full support of the biggest sugar bloc in the country during a video call to the Commissioner. Edgardo Lomanog Jr, chief of the sugar anti-smuggling organization, likewise expressed full cooperation with the BOC in addressing the problem of sugar smuggling during a courtesy call.

Ruiz said the BOC also is closely coordinating with the Department of Agriculture (DA) on the enhanced inter-agency data exchange in validating shipments and strengthened derogatory and intelligence information coordination.

Furthermore, BOC also implements the mandatory inspection of all reefer containers before their transfer to the DA-accredited cold storage facility.

The Electronic Tracking of Containerized Cargoes (ETRACC) system is also in effect to ensure the safe transit and transfer of agricultural goods.

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