Supreme Court Affirms the Forfeiture of Barge “Cheryl Ann” carrying Prohibited Used Oil

The Bureau of Customs prevailed against the owner of the seized and forfeited barge containing prohibited used oil at the Port of Surigao.

The Supreme Court upheld the Decision of the Bureau of Customs and Resolution of the Department of Finance dated 20 December 2012 and 17 June 2013, respectively, to forfeit barge “Cheryl Ann,” owned by Gold Mark Sea Carriers, Inc., in favor of the government for violation of Customs laws.

In an 11-page decision, the SC cited that the use of the barge, which contained a prohibited cargo of used oil, without the required importation permit to transport the illegal importation, warranted the forfeiture thereof pursuant to Section 2530 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP).

As enunciated, the barge was leased by the cargo owner and used to transport the undocumented cargo from the Republic of Palau and actually entered the Philippine Port, carrying prohibited cargo. Indubitably, it is subject to forfeiture under Section 2530 of the TCCP. As it was, Gold Mark failed to adduce other evidence to disprove its knowledge and participation in the unlawful importation of the cargo owner.

This development is a testament to the BOC’s unwavering commitment to ensuring that the government’s best interest is protected.

The BOC also commends the efforts of the Office of the Solicitor General in assisting and representing the BOC throughout this legal action and on other various legal issues concerning the Bureau.