Customs’ anti-smuggling campaign scores

Courts junk petitions, uphold sentence for traders

Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla (3rd from left) led the filing of smuggling-related cases against Silent Royalty Marketing for the illegal importation of rice in 2013 last October 16, 2014 The cases were filed under the Bureau’s Run After The Smugglers (RATS) program, under Deputy Commissioner Maria Edita Tan and Legal Services Director Alexis Medina (2nd and 1st from left, respectively)

Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla (3rd from left) led the filing of smuggling-related cases against Silent Royalty Marketing for the illegal importation of rice in 2013 last October 16, 2014 The cases were filed under the Bureau’s Run After The Smugglers (RATS) program, under Deputy Commissioner Maria Edita Tan and Legal Services Director Alexis Medina (2nd and 1st from left, respectively)

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) scored a major victory against smuggling as the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) junked the petitions of the motion for reconsideration of three traders accused of smuggling. The tax court upheld the convictions of Roel Paquit-Sayson, Francisco Billones and Mary Lucille Billones for their illegal importations.

Sayson, owner of Trex Eve Auto Sales and Services, is sentenced to up to 12 years in jail plus an P8,000 fine for the illegal importation of vehicles from South Korea to the Philippines. He was charged for misdeclaring 12 units of Kia Sportage and three Hyundai Gallopers as used truck replacement parts with estimated taxes and duties amounting to P1,779,770.61. Sayson was found guilty by Third Division of the CTA on December 12, 2012. The accused however filed his Motion for Reconsideration and Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration on December 26, 2012 and January 15, 2013, respectively, both of which were denied by the CTA.

The CTA also affirmed the sentences of Francisco and Mary Lucille Billones, both officials of Rubills International for illegally importing 510,000 kilograms of refined sugar from Singapore which they misdeclared as 306 kilograms of soy beans. The accused were found guilty of violating provisions of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, the Bureau of Food and Drug Rules and Regulations, and Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code and were meted out two consecutive nine-year jail terms plus a P20,000 fine. The accused also have to pay duties and taxes amounting to P5.073-Million.

“The favorable rulings from the courts have encouraged us to strive even more in our fight against smuggling. Our renewed vigor has given us new directions as far as our investigations and litigation goes so that each case we file has a high chance of conviction,” said Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla.

RTC convicts Indonesian drug-mule

The Regional Trial Court of Pasay, Branch 116 found Francesca Jovian, an Indonesian national, guilty of bringing 3.7 kilos of methamphetamine hydrochloride or ‘shabu’ worth P29.896-Million into the country. Jovian was apprehended by authorities in May 2012 following her suspicious behaviour upon arrival from Hong Kong at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. Customs and airport police found the cache of drugs hidden inside a secret compartment in Jovian’s hand-carried bag. She was found guilty of violating Section 3601 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and section 4, Article II of Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002) and was meted a maximum sentence of two years’ imprisonment and a fine of P5,000.00. After serving her sentence, the accused will be deported back to Indonesia.

The Bureau of Customs has filed 182 smuggling-related cases before the Department of Justice (DOJ), of which 130 are pending preliminary investigation at the DOJ, and 38 have been elevated or filed as cases before the courts. The Bureau has also taken significant steps to improve its Run-After-The Smugglers (RATS) program, which includes capacity-building for more effective investigation, case profiling, and case build-up. Established by the Bureau in July 2005 and formally launched in 2006, the RATS program is mandated to detect and prosecute smugglers and other customs and tariff law violators.



Customs Watch! In focus: Watch Industry



PH’s largest Customs port sets record for auction proceeds

Rice auction yields P73-Million

The Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Manila International Container Port (MICP) Collection District sets a record in revenues generated from public auctions following the sale of 70 container vans of rice on Friday (October 17). Year to date, total revenues generated from auctions of illegally imported goods forfeited in favor of the government by the BOC-MICP reached P542.6-Million.

In a public auction yesterday (Friday, October 17), the BOC-Manila International Container Port successfully sold 70 20-foot container vans of white rice to Victor R. Del Rosario Rice Mill Corp for P73.51-Million. The winning bid price for the rice, totaling an estimated 1.82-Million kilos of rice packed in 36,400 50-kilogram bags, translates to about P40.39 per kilogram of rice. All demurrage and storage charges for the rice are waived and the winning bidder has five days to claim the rice.

Sixteen bidders submitted bids for the rice, which fetched a bid amount that was 64% higher than the minimum floor price set of P47.03-Million or P25.84 per kilogram.The auctioned rice was originally consigned to Jade Bros Farm and Livestock, Inc and was seized by the BOC in November 2013 for lack of required import permits and valid quota allocation from the National Food Authority.

A total of 420 container vans of rice have so far been auctioned-off by BOC-MICP, with another 1,047 more on hold. MICP is the country’s largest port in terms of trade volume and revenues.

Officials of the Bureau of Customs-Manila International Container Port led by Deputy Collectors  Geraldine Cortero and Rupert Bustamante; District Collector ElmirDela Cruz (1st to 3rd from left, respectively); and Auction and Cargo Disposal Division Chief Gerry Macatangay (right) supervise the public of auction of seized smuggled white rice on Friday. The rice was sold for P73.5-Million, or 64% over the minimum floor price, bringing total revenues from auctions generate to over P542-Million, the highest for any of the BOC’s District offices.

Officials of the Bureau of Customs-Manila International Container Port led by Deputy Collectors Geraldine Cortero and Rupert Bustamante; District Collector ElmirDela Cruz (1st to 3rd from left, respectively); and Auction and Cargo Disposal Division Chief Gerry Macatangay (right) supervise the public of auction of seized smuggled white rice on Friday. The rice was sold for P73.5-Million, or 64% over the minimum floor price, bringing total revenues from auctions generate to over P542-Million, the highest for any of the BOC’s District offices.

“We are pleased with the strong interest from bidders and the favorable prices we are getting for the goods we auction. We intend to expedite the disposition of forfeited goods not only to generate incremental revenue but to free-up much-needed space at our ports,” said BOC-MICP District Collector ElmirDela Cruz.

On top of the public auctions, the BOC-MICP also condemned 1,091 container vans of seized goods that can neither be sold through public bidding nor donated to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. These include pirated or fake goods, food items and medicines that are expired and have no permits from the Food and Drug Administration.



Customs intensifies drive against technical smuggling

As part of BOCs step-up campaign against smugglers, BOC officials led by Cagayan de Oro District Collector Ruby Alameda (center), Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) Port Collector Samson Pacasum (right), and Intelligence Division Acting Chief Nestor Añonuevo (left) inspect the seized brand new Toyota Land Cruiser that arrived illegally through the MCT.

As part of BOCs step-up campaign against smugglers, BOC officials led by Cagayan de Oro District Collector Ruby Alameda (center), Mindanao Container Terminal (MCT) Port Collector Samson Pacasum (right), and Intelligence Division Acting Chief Nestor Añonuevo (left) inspect the seized brand new Toyota Land Cruiser that arrived illegally through the MCT.

The Bureau of Customs (BOC) intensifies its campaign against smuggling as it continues to seize undervalued, misdeclared, and misclassified shipments coming into the country.

“Our findings show that eight out of every ten shipments we place under Alert Order has findings of misdeclaration or undervaluation. But to put things in perspective, over 90% of the average 80,000 container vans that arrive in the country each month have no problems. Only a minority of importers and brokers are not complying with the laws,” says Customs Commissioner John P. Sevilla.

“We will not apologize for doing our job.”

In past days, operatives of the Bureau’s Enforcement and Intelligence Groups seized several shipments that had been found to be technically smuggled. These include an estimated P1 million worth of illegally imported ‘ukay-ukay’ items and garlic that arrived at the Manila international Container Port (MICP) last August. The “ukay-ukay,” consigned to a Sparta Biotekhnological Solutions, comprised 342 boxes of used clothes, shoes, toys and office equipment like calculators that was misdeclared as door window frames. On the other hand, two 40-foot container vans of garlic consigned to Ocean Eighteen Enterprises were seized for lack of the required import permit and phytosanitary clearance from the Bureau of Plant Industry.

An operative of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service of the Bureau of Customs inspects sacks of used handbags seized at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

An operative of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service of the Bureau of Customs inspects sacks of used handbags seized at the Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental.

The Bureau also seized over 30 container vans of smuggled shipments containing various items ranging from agricultural products like rice and garlic to ‘chop-chop’ vehicles to television sets and computer parts with an estimated value of P40-Million at the Mindanao International Container Terminal in Tagolon, Misamis Oriental.

The container vans comprised 19 shipments that were subjected to alert orders by the BOC based on derogatory information. Upon spot-checking, it was found out that the contents of these were misdeclared. Some of the seized shipments include 10,800 bags of Thai White Rice; 705 brand new sheet piles; 2 units brand new Toyota Land Cruiser sports utility vehicle; 6,000 units of used television sets of late models and old computer parts; cooking oil; porcelain jars of various sizes; over 500 packages of used clothing, bedsheets, and handbags; used tires and wheel rims of various sizes; and 27 units of ‘chop-chop’ vehicles (Honda Fit, Suzuki Multi-Cab, etc.). The cargoes arrived in the country from December 2013 to September 2014 and consigned to the following: ERS Surplus Ventures, Daebak Wholesale Corporation, Esther David Trading, Gwear Jam Imports Trading, GNA Eximport Trading, Squareview Trading Corporation, Greener Pasture Marketing, TSJ CDO Corporation, Psalms Eight Trading, Malingas Multipurpose Cooperative, Algaba Trading, and Mamsar Construction and Industrial Corporation.

Warrants of Seizure and Detention were issued by the Bureau against these smuggled shipments for violation of Section 2503 (Undervaluation, Misclassification and Misdeclaration in Entry) of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines. All of the seized items will be subjected to forfeiture proceedings in favor of the government. Follow-up operations are now on going to identify and file cases against the erring importers and traders.



Customs Advisory: Over P800M worth of goods seized in Parañaque City

Your Bureau of Customs seized over P800M worth of goods last Tuesday, February 18. Click on the subject line to see the infographic.Customs ng Bayan_Seized Goods_022014-01 (1)

 

 



Average Import Valuations – November 2013 to January 2014

Statement of Comm John Sevilla on the release of average dutiable values for all imports from November 2013 to January 2014:

For the information of all Customs employees as well as the general public, we are posting on our website the average dutiable values for all imports from November 2013 to January 2014, broken down by 11-digit HS code and country of origin. The values are expressed in pesos per kilogram.

Average dutiable values for all imports from November 2013 to January 2014, broken down by 11-digit HS code and country of origin. The values are expressed in pesos per kilogram.

The file can be downloaded in the Downloadables section of this site (http://www.dof.gov.ph/customsngbayan/?page_id=8051) and in the Customs website (http://customs.gov.ph/import-reports/average-import-valuations/).



DOF-BOC TAX WATCH ADVERTISEMENT #5

The Department of Finance partners with the Bureau of Customs to publish customs-related information based on data from the BOC’s Electronic-to-Mobile system (e2M). The fifth DOF-BOC ad features importers of chemical resins.

Click “Read more” to see the full ad.

Tax Watch 26 - Top plastic resin importers (colored)



DOF-BOC TAX WATCH ADVERTISEMENT #4

The Department of Finance partners with the Bureau of Customs to publish customs-related information based on data from the BOC’s Electronic-to-Mobile system (e2M). The fourth DOF-BOC ad features iron and steel importers and the amounts they paid to import these products.

Click “Read more” to see the full ad.

Tax Watch 25 - Top steel importers (colored)