Thousands of counterfeit goods were destroyed this morning as the Bureau of Customs conducted one of its biggest condemnations of confiscated smuggled products this early in the year.
Customs Commissioner Angelito Alvarez said the condemned articles worth at least P300 million included imitations of popular energizer batteries and an array of well-known brands such as Louis Vuitton, Channel, Gucci, Lacoste, Breitling and Nike.
The imported knock-offs were brought in by Multikarat Enterprises and Portwings Trading in violation of the country’s Intellectual Property Law.
According to Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service Director Filomeno Vicencio, Jr., “the condemnation proceeding which will be followed by several more in the months to come is proof of the agency’s serious and revitalized campaign to rid the local market of fake brands.”
Vicencio expressed confidence that the series of high-profile seizures being carried out by the BOC’s Intellectual Property Rights Division headed by lawyer Zsae Carrie de Guzman would go a long way in planting the seed of fear and uncertainty in the hearts and minds of smugglers of fake consumer items.
The customs chief commended Vicencio and de Guzman for their success in detecting and foiling the entry of counterfeit goods into the country.
Alvarez said the BOC’s determination to stop the inflow of products with intellectual property issues “stems from our desire to rid the country of the stigma of being referred to as a dumping ground for fake goods.”
The importation of counterfeit commodities, said de Guzman, was a serious concern not only because of its negative effect on the country’s reputation but also because of the way it discourages brand owners from investing in the country.
Alvarez ordered the immediate prosecution of importers and brokers involved in counterfeit smuggling and the investigation of customs employees in cahoots with them.
He promised that there would be no letup in the agency’s campaign to make smuggling unprofitable and corruption a shameful crime.